Guide for Students in Supporting Others

Introduction

There may be times in your University career when you have concerns about the mental health of another student. In these circumstances, you may be very concerned about doing ‘the right thing’ though it is difficult to know what is the ‘right thing’.

At the same time, it is important to recognise and stay within your limitations. Don’t allow another student to persuade you that you are the only person that she or he can trust. You are not responsible for your friend’s welfare, and you are not expected to be an amateur counsellor or therapist – if you try to do this, you may do more harm than good - but you may be able to help by enabling her or him to access appropriate support.

Often the unusual or bizarre behaviour of others has a tendency to alarm us, so it might be important to distinguish between what is an emergency and a non-emergency situation. Very often a person in distress may just need to talk to someone. However, if you think there is danger to anyone you should call the Emergency Services - Phone 999 - to ask for the police or an ambulance.

If the incident takes place on university premises (on campus or at the university residences) you can summon help from the 24 hour university security service by phoning 0151 794 2222. Campus Support can call for the Emergency Services but you can of course call 999 directly yourself.