Wellbeing Support

Wellbeing Support for Students

Mental health support is available from a number of external organisations to students - this support ranges from self-guided emotional support to support for those in crisis.

This page offers resources and signposting on the following topics:


Mild to moderate mental health concerns

The vast majority of UWS students experience mild to moderate mental health concerns.

These students are appropriately supported by counsellors and other student services staff who deliver tailored, specialist support via an appointment system. Out of hours information is routinely communicated to these students as part of their on-going care. 

All UWS students also have access to self-help resources such as Silvercloud which they access using their UWS email address.  

Acute mental health concerns

Every year a very small proportion of UWS students experience acute or severe mental health concerns. These students are best supported by the NHS and are linked in to these services by staff following the UWS Procedures for Supporting students in distress.

Students experiencing acute mental distress students should call their G.P. or 111 out of hours.

The NHS inform 111 service has a newly launched Mental Health Hub. Callers experiencing mental distress are now immediately directed to psychological wellbeing practitioner who will use NHS patient CHI number records to provide a clinically led and joined up response.  Clinical outcomes of this can include referral to a local Community Mental Health Team, a Distress Brief Intervention (typically lasting 14 days) or an admission to psychiatric hospital.

Student Services has recently arranged for the NHS engagement team to showcase this service to UWS staff, including residence staff at Paisley and Ayr.  


Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

  • someone's life is at risk – for example, they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose
  • you do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one. You will not be wasting anyone's time.


UWS resources and information about external support

Support over the winter break

UWS students will continue to be able to access high quality counselling and mental health support 24/7 through-out the Christmas period – including on Christmas day. All calls to the telephone support line go straight through to a trained counsellor who will provide a safe space for you to discuss your difficulties. If you call this line in distress, or in crisis, the counsellor will work to link you in to the most appropriate support. 

To access UWS student support line – free-phone 24/7 on 0800 028 3766.

UWS Wellbeing Calendar

Student services colleagues have also collated ideas and advice for staying well over the festive break.
Student services information can be found on the sharepoint hub here.

UWS will also be sharing wellbeing information through-out the break on instragram @uwsstudentservices

If you are feeling overwhelmed or lonely:

  • Breathing space is a confidential phoneline for anyone in Scotland over the age of 16, feeling low, anxious or depressed. Helpline number: 0800 83 85 87 (Opening hours: Mon -Thu 6pm to 2am; Fri 6pm - Mon 6am)
  • The Living Life service offers support to people in Scotland through guided self-help and cognitive behavioural therapy. You can access the service by referring yourself for an assessment by phoning 0800 328 9655 (Monday to Friday: 1pm - 9pm).
  • Get advice from 111 or ask for an urgent GP appointment if you need help urgently for your mental health, but it's not an emergency.


If you are struggling with student life stress:


If you want talking therapy (mild to moderate):

Any students can self-refer for an assessment to the NHS service Living Life on 0800 328 9655 (Monday to Friday: 1pm - 9pm from where they can access guided self-help or telephone Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Email hub@uws.ac.uk for an appointment with a counsellor.


If you are experiencing a mental health crisis:

If you or someone you know needs help for a mental health crisis, or breakdown, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment. In an emergency, call 999.

It's important to know that support is available, even if services seem busy at the moment. NHS urgent mental health helplines, like the 111 service are for people of all ages. You can call for:

  • 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent/carer, friend or someone you care for
  • help to speak to a mental health professional
  • an assessment to help decide on the best course of care

You can also contact the following free listening services:


If you are experiencing a mental health problem and would like support from the NHS:

For NHS mental health support, students can contact their GP (this can be your home GP if you haven’t yet moved to a GP near your university address) or refer to NHS 111 online.

NHS mental health providers are continuing to operate and many have already transitioned to delivering elements of care digitally to help people access the care they need during the pandemic, maintain continuity of care and make best use of resources.


If you are looking for self-guided support for your mental health and wellbeing:

Student Space is here for students through coronavirus. The resource is technically for students at English Universities (as funded through the OFS) but content is freely available on the web and very relevant to Scottish context too.

Every Mind Matters is a website with advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing, including creating a personalised “Mind Plan” full of self-care tips. The advice and guidance available on the Every Mind Matters website is being delivered in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities, including Young Minds, The Mix and The Anna Freud Centre.

Students Against Depression is a website offering advice, information, guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking.

The Wellbeing Thesis is an online resource for postgraduate research students to support your wellbeing, learning and research.


For information, help and advice about drugs:

Find confidential local drug and alcohol support services here or phone 03001236600 for confidential support from Talk to Frank.


For support with an eating disorder:

Phone Beat’s studentline on 0808 801 0811 or go to the Beat website to access their one to one chat forum.

If you are worried about an eating disorder, please contact your GP, visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111.


If you are considering issues around your sexuality or gender identity:

Call the LGBT+ helpline Scotland. https://www.lgbthealth.org.uk/services-support/lgbt-mental-health/lgbt-helpline-scotland/

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