Mental Health and Wellbeing


Here at Durham SU, we recognise that this period will be incredibly difficult for many of you, and some of you will experience changes to your usual mood, feelings of isolation, low energy, anxiety or concern. These feelings are completely valid, and are to be expected given the uncertainty and severity of the situation.

As always, we recommend that you regularly practice healthy self-care that you know works for you to support your own wellbeing. However, if these feelings become overwhelming or disruptive, or if you’re not sure where or how to find answers to your questions, you may wish to reach out for additional support or guidance, and that’s more than okay. There are lots of people and organisations out there who can help. We’ve listed some of these below, with information on how to access them.

Self-care and self-help

If you’re looking for ideas on how to practice healthy self-care, or if you’re seeking guidance on how to help yourself through periods of low mood or heightened anxiety, you may find the following helpful:

  • The NHS has a range of resources on self-care for young people
  • Student Space has a range of resources, including articles and videos, designed to support students through the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics include ‘studying during coronavirus’, ‘mental health and wellbeing’, ‘friendships and social life’ and ‘grief and loss’
  • The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust has information and resources on a range of topics including mental health and coronavirus

Peer support

If you feel you’d benefit from seeking informal, non-professional support from your peers, there are many groups in Durham who have been trained and can offer a listening ear, support and signposting:

  • Your College and Association Welfare Teams have all received training on active listening, signposting and supporting peers.
  • Nightline is a student group which offers an anonymous, confidential, non-directive and non-judgemental listening service. You can contact them during term-time via Instant Message using their website, 21:00 - 07:00.

Professional support

If you feel like you may benefit from professional support (for instance, if the way you feel becomes overwhelming, or disrupts your day-to-day life), you may wish to:

  • Self-refer to the University’s Counselling Service, which continues to offer a full service during the pandemic
  • Talk to your GP about how you’re feeling and the support options available to you
  • Talk to your College Support Staff about how you’re feeling and how it’s impacting your day-to-day life and University experience. They can offer support and guidance on how the University can best support you.

Someone to speak to

If you feel you’d benefit from speaking to someone, but don’t want to talk to someone from the University or your GP, you can:

  • Call Samaritans, on 116 123 at any time
  • Get support through Student Space, by:
    • Calling 0808 189 5260 between 16:00 and 23:00 (in partnership with The Mix)
    • Texting ‘Student’ to 85258 any time (in partnership with Shout and Crisis Text Line)
    • Emailing
    • Starting a webchat, here.

Grief or loss

If you’re struggling with grief or loss:

  • Cruse Bereavement Care has information and resources as well as a helpline (0808 808 1677) and an IM chat function.
  • Student Space has resources and information available here.

For a more extensive list of non-Covid specific support options, you can read our Student Signposting Guide here.


Page last reviewed: 09/11/2020