Where can I get support?
We really hope that you’ll be happy and comfortable throughout your time at Chad’s and Durham University, but it’s not uncommon to struggle at some point – we’re all human! Whether you’re feeling like things are getting on top of you, finding it difficult to settle in, struggling being away from home or have a personal issue on your mind, there are people here to support you.
Knowing who to turn to should never be something that adds to your concerns. We’ve put together a list of go-to contacts to hopefully make it easier and clearer to access support when you need it.
Below you’ll find avenues of support within Chad’s, within Durham University and offered by some external organisations. If you have any questions or need help discussing your options, don’t hesitate to contact the Welfare Team who can talk to you about what to expect from each service.
- Emergency support
- Support within Chad’s
- Uni-wide support service
- External Helplines and Associations
- ‘Out-of-hours’ support
If you are having troubling thoughts of suicide or self-harm and no longer feel you can be in control of your situation, it’s really important that you seek urgent support.
Open 24/7, the NHS 111 service is free to call and can provide guidance on who to contact by assessing your situation. Dial 111 to speak to an assessor if it is not an emergency but you need urgent advice.
Visit A&E or call 999
The nearest 24/7 Accident and Emergency department is University Hospital: North Road, Durham, DH1 5TW.
Support within Chad’s
Chad’s Welfare team are available anytime to provide support for Chad’s JCR members. Call in to one of our drop-in sessions, catch us around college, send us a Facebook message/email/text or give us a call. Our drop-in sessions are frequent and offer anyone the chance to come along for a chat, a listening ear, or just a good cuppa and a biscuit (if you’re lucky!). We’ll chat to you about anything and everything and will never judge you. Whilst we can’t offer you professional advice, we can help you to work out where to go for further support and signpost you to other services. Any contact is always confidential where possible.
Contact: Each Chadsian has an assigned college tutor. All their details can be found here.
Your college tutor is there to support you throughout your time at Chad’s. They’re there to help you settle into college life, to provide moral support if things are difficult and to refer you to the Senior Tutor if you need more specialised advice. You’ll have at least one meeting with them per academic term but you can contact them via email if you want to arrange a one-to-one meeting beforehand.
As Vice-Principal, Eleanor offers student support to all members of Chad’s. She has very frequent Open Office Hours (her office is on Main College Floor 1 above the Quad) during which you can pop along for a chat. Alternatively, you can drop her an email and arrange a time to meet.
University-wide support services
More information: https://www.dur.ac.uk/counselling.service/
The University counselling service are a team of professional practitioners who provide advice, guidance and one-to-one counselling sessions. They can offer students 4 individual sessions with a counsellor and if further support is required, they can advise on how to access local or private therapy. After you contact them, you will be invited to complete an online questionnaire which allows them to understand your current difficulties; you’ll then be given an appointment or drop-in session invite. All contact is confidential and won’t be shared outside of the service unless there is an immediate risk.
NHS GP & Medical Centres – University Health Centre and Claypath Medical Centre
The two medical centres serve the Durham population and all students are encouraged to register with a GP when they arrive at Uni. If your mental health is impacting on your daily life, speak to your GP. Contact is confidential where possible and they can make referrals to services external from the University e.g. Durham Mental Health Team.
Durham LGBT+ Association offers a confidential listening service, free sexual health supplies and signposting for anyone who identifies as being under the LGBT+ umbrella. The association also runs socials and awareness campaigns throughout the year.
Durham International Students Association
Contact: Facebook (www.facebook.com/DurhamISA).
The International Students Association (ISA) aims to integrate and represent international students. They run and share information about local social events and have a designated welfare officer.
Mature Students Association
Contact: Facebook (www.facebook.com/MATSADC/).
MATSA is a new association which aims to connect mature students at Durham.
People of Colour Association
Contact: Facebook (www.facebook.com/groups/dpoca/).
Durham People of Colour Association aims to provide a safe, welcoming space for black and minority ethnic students to access confidential welfare services, meetings and talks, social events and campaigns.
Durham Women’s Association
Contact: Facebook (www.facebook.com/DurhamWomensAssociation).
DWA represents and campaigns for everyone who self-defines as a woman.
External Helplines and Associations
Open 10am–10pm weekdays and 2pm–10pm weekends. HOPElineUK is a confidential support and advice service for young people under the age of 35 who may be having thoughts of suicide or who are concerned about someone who may be having suicidal thoughts. You can speak to an advisor who will help talk through the best way to access help and cope with your thoughts.
The Mix (www.themix.org.uk)
The Mix offers support for under 25s on their confidential helpline and webchat. Their phone lines and webchat are open Sunday to Friday 2pm–11pm and Saturday 8pm–11pm. They also run a 24/7 Crisis Text Line service—text THEMIX to 85258.
Contact: 0300 304 7000, every day 4.30pm–10.30pm.
Sane is a mental health support charity offering information and emotional support to people affected by mental health issues, including eating disorders and self-harm.
LGBT Foundation (lgbt.foundation/helpline)
Contact: Call 03453303030 Mon–Fri, 9am–9pm.
The LGBT Helpline service provide support to anyone who identifies as LGBT and is struggling with their thoughts. The helpline volunteers can chat to you about anything, including but not limited to: mental health, isolation, coming out, identity, sexual orientation, hate crime and STI concerns.
Contact: 0800 58 58 58, 5pm–midnight, every day or webchat via the website link above.
CALM is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. They offer support to men who are feeling fown or in crisis via their helpline, webchat and website.
The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre (www.themeadowsdurham.org.uk)
The Meadows provide a sensitive and comprehensive service for anyone who has experienced rape or sexual assault. They offer forensic medical examination, advice, support, counselling and sexual health screening and will support you in reporting the assault to the Police, if you wish to do so. The Meadows provide support via telephone or face to face support in their centre 4 miles outside of Durham City centre.
‘Out of Hours’ support
A completely confidential, non-judgmental and non-advisory listening service, open every night of term 9pm–7am. You can call and speak to a volunteer, or chat via instant messenger, about anything that’s on your mind – there’s nothing too big or too small. They can give you information about other local support services and also provide taxi numbers and contact details of college porters.
The Samaritans are a nationwide support service open 24/7. You can call Samaritans and speak to a trained volunteer about anything that’s on your mind, or drop by at the Durham branch and speak to a volunteer in person (call the Durham branch to check on opening hours). If you feel it’s easier to write down how you’re feeling you can also contact them via email.