Family Issues

Family issue could be caused by disagreements, changes to the family dynamic, stress due to unemployment, domestic violence, neglect, etc.

No matter why you are experiencing family issues, it can be very difficult to deal with family issues when you are at university. You are physically removed from your home, but this does not necessarily mean that you are not experiencing the family issues which are happening at home. You might even feel a little helpless due to the distance from home. Sometimes being at university and not at home can help deal with the family issues, but in some cases, it can make it worse. You might even worry what it will be like to go back home during the holidays.

Everyone's family issues will be different as every family dynamic looks different; this also means that the way you deal with your family issues will be different from someone else who is dealing with family issues.

Below you can find more information about what you can do if you are experiencing family issues and how the university can help you.

What you can do

The following are suggestions on how you can deal with family issues, this is not a set list of things which you should be doing but just some suggestions on what could help you through your family problems.

  • If you feel that it is possible, you should try to communicate openly with your family for them to understand how the situation is impacting you, but also for you to better understand what is going on and how everyone else is experiencing it. In some cases, it may be a lack of communication which has caused the problem and talking openly about it might be a first step at resolving it.
  • Remember that it is not up to you to fix whatever is going on in your family. Equally you cannot change your family, but what you can do is change how you react to what is going on. This might mean seeking out help should you need it.
  • You can build a support system away from your family who can help you through the situation. Sometimes it can help to talk to people who are removed from the situation to see it from a new point of view. Mostly, your university friends will not know your family members and this can be beneficial as you might be more honest with them than you would be if you talked to someone who knows your family members.
  • You should try to continue with your normal activities if you can. Try to attend lectures and do things that you enjoy and would normally do. All of these can be good distractions. If you feel like you can’t do much, then try to prioritize what needs to be done and get at least that done. If you feel like you need a break, there is nothing wrong with that, if this is the case you should try to reduce your schedule for a bit or shuffle things around to allow for a break.
  • Get the help you need, if you have been dealing with family issues or if it is a new situation for you to be in, you might want to talk to someone about what is going on. You can reach out to the Mental Wellbeing team if you feel like the family issue is affecting your mental wellbeing or if you would like advice and guidance by using the Online Referral Form. If you feel like the family issue is impacting your studies, you should contact your academic tutor and talk to them about your options.

How can the University Support you?

If the family issues have affected your mental wellbeing, contact the Mental Wellbeing Team by completing the Online Referral Form 

If you are worried about the impact your family issues have had on your studies, you should make an appointment with your tutor.  

If you want advice and guidance on financial or housing matters you can contact the Student Advice and Support Service Team. 

What to do next?

Contact Wellbeing Team

Fill out the mental wellbeing online referral form if your mental wellbeing has been impacted.

Contact the Student Advice and Support Service

Fill out the Student Advice and Support Service online referral form if you would like guidance and advice on financial or other matters.

Contact your Academic Tutor

Contact your academic tutor if you feel like your studies have been affected by the family issues.

What should I do if I am worried about somebody else?

If you know someone who is dealing with family issues, there are a few things which you could do to help them.

  • Ask them if there is anything you can do to help during this situation. You can also offer them listening ear if they would like to talk about it. Some might want to discuss it with you whilst others may not. If they do want to talk to you then please remember that it is more important to listen than to give them advice.
  • You can help them get help if they should need it. This could be by encouraging them to contact the Mental Wellbeing team, the Student Advice and Support team or their personal tutor.
  • Invite them when you do things, for example asking if they would like to join you if you're going for a walk or going to play a sport or even going to the library to study.

External Resources

Last Updated: 5th September 2022