Long-term Mental Health Condition

Mental health refers to cognitive, emotional, and behavioural well-being. It can affect day-to-day life, relationships, and physical health.

Long-term mental health conditions are mental health conditions which last more than 12 months. 

There are different types of long-term mental health conditions such as, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, etc.

What Support is available from the University?

Before you start your studies we can:

  • Meet with you to discuss your support requirements, and work through any concerns you may have, so that support can look to be in place upon your arrival in September (telephone and Skype appointments are also available if travel to campus is not possible). You are welcome to bring a friend, relative or support worker to the meeting if you wish and we may invite your department’s Disability Co-ordinator if you are in agreement.
  • Support you through the admission process with any additional requirements. 
  • Provide information, advice, and guidance to eligible students on applying for Disabled Student's Allowance to fund additional resources, support and equipment during your studies.
  • Advise Student Accommodation Centre of your hall/room requirements in relation to a disability.
  • Liaising with your local social services team to discuss personal care support if required.
  • Support you to make an early booking for accommodation prior to exam results. Please refer to the website here for more information about whether you could be eligible for this.

Depending on an assessment of your specific needs, either by a DSA assessor or a disability advisor, support could include:

    • providing advice on applying for and accessing your DSA
    • liaising with your department about reasonable adjustments to course delivery to meet your individual needs
    • arranging for extended library loans
    • arranging for awareness training to your department
    • examination and assessment adjustments
    • arranging a 1-1 library induction
    • provision of mentoring or study support skills
    • access to some assistive software on the University IT system
    • adaptations to the physical environment

Our Mental Health Advisers can help:

    • Differentiate between ordinary reactions and the effects of a specific mental health difficulty and assess the impact that mental health difficulties may be having on a student's studies.
    • Take practical steps to resolve pressing immediate problems (e.g. inability to work while studying, admission to hospital at critical times, etc).
    • Identify a realistic approach to study and formulate plans to structure this approach.
    • Provide opportunities for off-loading pressures and act as a sounding-board to reduce problematic tension, anxiety, paranoia, or despondency.
    • Develop creative, individually-tailored strategies for students to use when undertaking their studies.
    • Make specific arrangements within the University, such as academic departments and halls, to take into account mental health difficulties.
    • Liaise internally and externally to the University as appropriate; we place critical value on the relationships we have with other staff, agencies, or community networks in helping students.
    • Assist students with mental health difficulties in applying for specific funding arrangements; for example, the Disabled Students’ Allowance.
    • Provide advice and information about a wide range of issues, factors and services related to positive mental health and well-being.

What to do next?

If you are Applicant:

Regardless of whether you use the disability box in your application, or mention your circumstances in your personal statement, you should use the Disability and Health Portal to share further information with us.

This will give us the opportunity to assess your requirements and arrange support as necessary in time for your studies to start.

If you are a Current Student:

If you are struggling with a mental health condition and want some support, please get in contact with the Student Wellbeing Team by completing our online Wellbeing Referral form

External Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

I put information about a mental health condition on my application, what should I do now?

We recognise that choosing to go to university may involve significant life changes, and for some students this requires extra preparation and consideration. Of course, going to university is a great opportunity and we are committed to ensuring students receive the support they need to succeed. We will therefore contact you asking for further details about how your studies might be affected so we can plan to support you accordingly.

You will be asked to complete our online Disability and Health Portal and from there we will liaise with you to discuss your support as necessary. We recommend you also consider a transition plan with any current services you may be in contact with, and let us know about this.

Are there other students with mental health conditions?

According to some sources, approximately 1 in 6 people in any given week experience a mental health difficulty, 1 in 4 people experience a mental health difficulty at some point in their lives, and 1 in 3 people experience a panic attack  Based on the fact that there are approximately 17,000 students at the University, it is highly likely that there are significant numbers of students on your course who experience similar problems.  However, experiencing a mental health difficulty can often make some people feel alone and different from 'everyone else'.

At Loughborough University there is a student-led group called HeadsUp! who aim to promote positive mental health and well-being in the students of Loughborough.  The successes of HeadsUp! reflect the importance of the issues to many students at the University and a shift towards a more inclusive understanding of mental health as important to us all.

I just want some information about mental health, where can I find this?

The University hosts a Health and Wellbeing website which holds a lot of information about a variety of health and mental health topics.

The library also has a selection of self-help books available for you to borrow as well.

Is there only support available for students with severe mental health conditions?

University work can be stressful at times or a student’s usual ways of handling problems don’t work as well as previously for some reason.

The Team focus on assessing and identifying the individual support needs of each student; some students will require more support than others, but the emphasis is on what will work best for each individual. Being clear about the particular issues that are a problem for you, prior to contacting the Team, will help us be more effective.

Should I declare that I have a mental health condition?

Some students worry that they could be disadvantaged if they declare a mental health difficulty, but there is legislation to protect you from this sort of discrimination.

Loughborough University will not discriminate against you on the grounds that you have a mental health difficulty. Instead, the University seeks this sort of information to try and ensure it is providing an inclusive environment, the best support, and appropriate advice to students.

If I disclose a mental health condition, will everyone find out about it?

No; personal, sensitive information, such as that relating to mental health, will be treated in confidence by all staff at the University. 

You can see more information about data sharing in our Student Services privacy statement here.

I have been signposted or referred to the team, or would like to refer myself. What can I expect to happen?

When we receive enquiries or referrals, a member of the Team will respond as soon as we are able. This may just necessitate a quick telephone call or email correspondence, depending on the way in which you contact us initially. We will usually invite you to meet with a member of the Team, as this is the most effective way of working together.

Meetings are usually pre-arranged, as demand for support is high. For the first meeting with us, it is usually best to set aside an hour to provide sufficient opportunity to talk through any specific support needs you feel you may have, provide an opportunity for us to alert you to the range of support or arrangements that may potentially be available, and refer you to other specialist services as necessary. The length of subsequent meetings is variable.

Is there anything I can do before meeting with someone from the team?

Doing so would certainly help bring a focus to what you would like support with, as well as how you would like to achieve this. You might like to consider the following:

  • Identify some of the particular difficulties you experience and how these can lead to practical issues. You may find you have a number of immediate practical concerns; try to identify priorities.
  • What are coping strategies, self-help or support has been useful to you?
  • What are your current workloads and deadlines? How might we work together with the academic department?
  • Are there issues in halls or in accessing University services which we might work together on?
  • How might we work together with GP, therapists, nurses, psychiatrists, etc?
  • If you take medication or access therapy, does this have an impact on your ability to undertake your education?
  • How might we work together with friends or relatives?

Please note:

  • Although we can facilitate access to counselling, specialist therapy, medical diagnosis or psychiatry, we do not provide these services.
  • We are also not in a position to provide Mitigating Circumstances letters where you have had little or no contact with us on which to base a supporting statement, except in rare circumstances.

If I have contacted the Team, does this mean that I will get ongoing support?

An initial appointment aims to help in jointly identify your support needs. If it is apparent that there are likely to be ongoing practical difficulties, or specific advice is likely to be needed regarding managing the impact of your difficulties on your studies, then ongoing support may be offered.

If other services are better placed to support you, we will advise you about this and, if necessary, refer you to them (for example, to the Counselling Team).

Will my discussion with the team be confidential?

Yes; your situation may be discussed within the Team’s organisational structure, to ensure the safe and efficient running of the service and to help plan the most appropriate assistance.

There may however be very rare and exceptional circumstances where we may need to pass on your information, which include:

  • If we believed you may be a danger to yourself or others;
  • If you told us about a serious criminal offence, about using illegal drugs on University premises, involvement in terrorist activities, or gave us reason to believe that a child or vulnerable adult may be at risk;
  • If we were ordered by a court or other legal body of similar standing to release information.

Does the team keep records?

We keep a record of the contact we have with or about students to help us remember what we have been doing and plan future work. We also keep copies of letters and e-mails we receive in connection with the support provided. These are entirely separate from medical records. 

Find out more about how information you provide is used.

Will the team ever pass on information?

The Team may be able to provide more appropriate and effective support through liaison with University colleagues or external agencies; before doing so, we would seek your permission.

Occasions where this has occurred have included:

  • Feedback to the Head of Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity or Director of Student Services on emerging issues related to individual casework.
  • Liaison with other members of Student Services. e.g. Counselling service.
  • Making arrangements with identified members of staff for a specific purpose.
  • Consultation with an identified member of academic staff to assist them in understanding the academic impact of your mental health difficulties.
  • Liaison with external agencies to ensure that students receive appropriate care and treatment.

In our communication with others, your difficulties will be treated sensitively and not under- or over-represented, so that the recipients’ perception of the issues they need to be aware of reflects as accurately as possible the actual circumstances.

What sort of health care provision is there locally?

The Team work alongside any health care provision you have. Most of this is organised/arranged by geographical location. When you arrive at the University you will usually be required to register with the University Medical Centre (conveniently located in the middle of campus). This will mean that any medical or therapeutic services available through the Medical Centre would be available for you while studying.

If you have health care provision elsewhere (Therapist, Community Psychiatric Nurse, Psychiatrist, etc) you may wish to consider how they can support your transition to/from Loughborough, and what provision can be made when you return home during the holiday periods.

Similarly, if you or your health care provider believes that you would benefit from continued support from services in Leicestershire (i.e. Community Mental Health Team, Eating Disorders Unit), please contact the Medical Centre and those services directly.

Find out more about North Charnwood Community Mental Health Team, Eating Disorders Services and other local NHS services  

Referrals to health care services can take several weeks, so it may be worthwhile doing this early in the academic year.

I do not want to disclose or wish to access support, do I have to?

There is no requirement for you to disclose that you experience mental health difficulties, unless you are undertaking a course leading to a professional qualification, such as teaching, where you are required to complete an Occupational Health questionnaire.

Disclosing to the University is also not necessary for you to consider applying for the Disabled Students Allowance, although it is likely that the Mental Health Support Team will be contacted about this at some stage in the process.

Likewise, there is no obligation to make use of support.

However, if you have support needs and you have not informed the relevant people or made use of the support offered to you, the University may not be able to meet those needs effectively. 

What happens to missed or cancelled appointments?

  • There is a high demand for mental health support, so it is important that you make it a priority to attend appointments.
  • The Team have a waiting list for first appointments with us, so if you do not attend your first appointment, you will have missed your opportunity and will need to re-book. This will clearly mean an additional delay in accessing our help.
  • With regards support provided after the first appointment, it is also important that you make it a priority to attend. We will have arranged our diaries around your commitments to provide support, but do understand that there may be occasions where you need to cancel your appointment with us. Please do give as much notice as possible so we can provide support to other students.
  • However, if you frequently miss appointments with us, we are not really offering a service to you and ultimately, support may be withdrawn. If your access to support is affected by your difficulties, please discuss this with us.

You can find further information around our cancellation policy here.

Last Updated: 8th September 2022