The Welfare Team are always there to listen but also coordinate giving people support and are a signposting service. There are Welfare business cards with support contacts which are available in college and these links are also on the Facebook page. We also provide a regular supply of prophylactics and female hygiene products free of charge, which are located in the blue box in the MCR.
Beyond the MCR Welfare Team, of course, there are plenty of other channels of welfare support both in college and across the wider university, which you are free to access at any time. College tutors are one obvious resource, and our senior management team in Chads are always happy to listen and assist. Ashley Wilson, our Postgraduate Director, is usually the first port of call for MCR members. Links to all college staff contact details can be found on the college website’s staff pages.
In addition to this, the University Counselling Service located at the Palatine Centre next to the Bill Bryson Library offers a high standard of service in counselling for those who are finding that their difficulties are hard to manage and/or are affecting their studies/work. Information about booking appointments can be found on their website.
Students may choose to engage in counselling for a wide variety of reasons, including:
■ academic/work worries/pressures
■ problems arising from studies
■ anxiety and depression
■ panic attacks
■ suicidal thoughts
■ issues of sexuality
■ relationship difficulties
■ family problems
■ loneliness and isolation
■ eating disorders
■ issues with self-esteem and confidence
Do take a good look at their website, as it provides some really useful information on looking after mental health along with some useful advice on how to support friends who may be suffering with mental health difficulties. According to the mental health charity Mind, 1 in 4 people in the UK find themselves struggling with a mental health problem each year, and so this is something we are all likely to experience in some form at one time or other.
Below is the number for Nightline, a popular student listening service, along with college porter contact numbers:
■ Nightline (Term-time welfare, 9pm–7am): 0191 334 6444
■ College Porter (8am–Midnight): 0191 33 43358
■ Night Porter (Midnight–8am): 07968 690830