Concern for Housemate/Friend
Being at University you will meet lots of new people and develop different kinds of relationships. There is a chance that there will be times when you feel concerned for another person.
This could be due to a variety of reasons, maybe you are concerned about their mental health or maybe they have mentioned something which might concern you. You might also be concerned about someone due to their behaviour or change in behaviour.
It is important to remember that you do not have to advise them or find a solution for them. Instead, you should see yourself as someone who provides a listening ear. Alternatively, if you feel like even listening is difficult for you, you can signpost them into the direction of professionals who have the tools and are potentially better equipped to deal with the issues. You can find more information about what to do below.
How can the University Support you?
If you think someone is in immediate risk, you should call 999 or University Security on 01509 222141.
If someone has disclosed something about their Mental Wellbeing which concerns you and you are worried that they are thinking about self-harming, committing suicide, or hurting others, you can report this online using the Online Reporting Tool.
If someone tells you they have been subjected to:
- Domestic Violence (including honour based)
- Bullying and Harassment
- Hate Incidents (including racism, homophobia, etc.)
- Sexual Violence
You can file a third-party report through the University’s Online Incident Reporting tool. Here you can also report the incidents anonymously.
If you live in halls you can talk to your Hall committee’s Welfare and Diversity representative, your Subwarden or Warden in order to ask for further guidance or signposting.
If you feel like your own mental wellbeing has been impacted by what you have heard, you can reach out to the Mental Health Support team using the Online Referral Form.
What to do next?
Is the person at immediate risk? If yes, call University Security on 01509 222141 or Emergency Services on 999.
Instead of giving advice it might be better to ask questions instead of trying to find answers for them. Try asking open, how and what, questions rather than questions with yes or no answers.
If you are concerned for their Wellbeing or think they or others may be at risk, but this is not immediate then complete the Online Incident Reporting Tool.
If your own mental wellbeing is impacted by what you have heard you can request support through our Mental Wellbeing Referral Form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the person know I’ve said I am concerned about them?
If you have reported your concern online using the Online Reporting Tool, you can submit your report anonymously and the person will not know that you have submitted it.
If you have talked to someone about your concerns, you can always ask them to keep it confidential and this way they can help you without the person you are concerned about knowing.
I feel as though I’m breaking confidence by telling the University?
Even if it might feel as if you are breaking confidence by telling the University, you are not. If you are concerned about someone and are trying to help them then you have done nothing wrong. In most cases your concern will help someone out and in certain instances you could save someone’s life by telling the University.
What if I am just over-reacting?
There is no way to tell if you are over-reacting about something or not until you have either talked to the person you are concerned about, or you have asked someone else for guidance. It can be tricky to know when to step in and help or ask for help on behalf of someone else but at the end of the day it is better to be safe than sorry. If it then turns out that there was nothing to be concerned about then at least you relax and not be concerned about it anymore. If it was something to be concerned about then you will have helped someone out of what could have been a very terrible situation for them.
Last Updated: 4th September 2022