With the pressures of financial strain, academic performance and uncertainty in the jobs market being added to the complexities of family and social interaction, life as a student in Cambridge can be a stressful and demanding time. University mental health services have experienced a huge surge in demand over recent years, with the rising number of students accessing counselling far exceeding the growth in student numbers during the same period.
In response to the ongoing nationwide crisis of mental health provision, the College is dedicated to providing structures and programmes which support the welfare of resident students. Alongside the University's Counselling Service and the support offered by the College Nurse, Chaplain and Directors of Studies, we currently employ a part-time Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and Mental Health Advisor. Our structure of support includes the following:
Directors of Studies
Each undergraduate student has a Director of Studies who oversees their education. As the Director of Studies is a specialist in the subject they can give very specific help and advice whether you want to discuss your paper choices, are struggling with an aspect of the course or want some career information.
If you're having difficulties of any kind you can book an appointment with a Tutor (a King's fellow) to discuss it. Some of the Tutors have specialisms - e.g the Welfare Tutor can provide support for students experienceing difficulties, the Financial Tutor can advise on financial issues, the Graduate Tutor can help graduate students in particular, etc.
The Chaplain is available to every student, regardless of belief or non-belief. You can talk to him about anything which is concerning you, in complete confidence. He is available 24/7 and has no involvement in either disciplinary or academic matters, so you can speak freely.
The porters are around 24/7 and can help you with queries or emergencies at all hours. Students tend to have a good rapport with the porters. The porters are all first-aid trained.
The College has its own nurse you can visit for advice and treatment. Students must also register with a local doctor.
Mental Health Support in College
Students experiencing difficulties with their mental health can arrange to see a Mental Health Advisor, and if appropriate, arrange a course of treatment with the College's Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.
The University provides a counselling service as well as a number of help-lines and health services.
A number of students on the College unions (KCSU and KCGS) are available to talk to or to provide specific support for certain issues. These include the Male and Female Welfare Officers, the Ethnic Minorities Officer, International Officer and LGBTQ Officer.
The Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) has its own support officers. You can find out about them and about other useful resources on the CUSU website. The graduate equivalent is the Graduate Union.