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University Counselling Service

Student Counselling

Studying at Cambridge


Mental Health Advisors

The Mental Health Advisors

The Mental Health Advisors (MHAs) offer a range of interventions to students experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties.

The MHAs only accept referrals from a college nurse, a college chaplain or from tutors.

All phone calls for the MHAs need to go through reception on: 01223 332865

Contact an MHA via email


The MHA's Confidentiality Policy

At the first appointment, the MHA will ask for the student’s consent to share information on a ‘need to know’ basis with relevant staff involved in their welfare.  If the student does not wish to give their consent, this is likely to limit the support that the MHA will be able to offer.  In a situation where the student is considered to be at risk to themselves or to others, confidentiality may be extended without their consent.

Mental Health Assessment

If a student requires a mental health assessment, the MHAs will arrange to meet them at the Counselling Service. With the student’s permission, the MHA will discuss the outcome of the assessment with the referrer. 

Crisis Management

The MHAs can offer a quick response to students who are in crisis, and are usually able to arrange to see the student by the next working day.  Our MHAs have expertise in crisis intervention including suicide risk assessment. The MHAs will arrange to see the student as frequently as needed until the crisis has resolved.

Continued Support

Students can be offered ongoing MHA support with the frequency of appointments being tapered in accordance with the student’s changing circumstances. The MHAs work individually with students using a solution-focused approach to develop coping strategies and self-management.

Fitness to Study

When a College has significant concerns about a student’s health and/or safety, the MHAs can provide a mental health assessment to inform the College's decision of a student's fitness to study. When a student is returning to study after a period of intermission on mental health grounds, the MHAs can provide an assessment of the appropriate support required.

The Fitness to Return assessment will include an evaluation of whether the student has recovered sufficiently to manage the demands of the academic Term, taking into consideration the student’s previous difficulties and the College’s concerns about them.

Supporting evidence for the Applications Committee.

The MHAs can provide letters for the Applications Committee giving information on a student’s mental health and the impact this has on their studies.

Advice to College and University staff in relation to student mental health  

University and College staff can contact the MHAs directly to discuss individual or general student mental health concerns. 

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