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A Fresher’s Guide To: Accessing Support


The common narrative about university is that they will be the absolute best years of our lives. Now, I’m really hoping that for most of us this ends up being true, but that doesn’t mean that throughout these years we won’t struggle. Thankfully, Lancaster University has a range of support systems and services in place for when you feel you may need some help, all of which can all be found on the Counselling and Mental Health Service site: (

“Hi everyone and welcome to Lancaster! I hope you’re all settling in well and enjoying the beginning of your new chapter here. My name is Amy Merchant, and I am the Vice President Welfare at the Students’ Union. My role entails being the political lead on equality, diversity, inclusivity and wider student wellbeing. If you should need anything during your time at Lancaster, please feel free to contact me at You can also contact our Advice service, which is a free, non-judgemental and confidential support service here to support you through whatever may happen”

Amy Merchant – Vice President Welfare

Mental Health Support

  • CAT Teams (‘College Advisory Teams’)
    • Each college has its own College Advisory Team who are available for general welfare support, including common fresher concerns regarding settling in, homesickness, friendships, relationships etc
    • With these being college-based, the teams will be able to advise you and guide you to other support networks should you need them
  • One-Off Appointments
    • Designed to help you through the uncertainty of our current day-to-day lives, these one-off appointments require no self-referral
  • 30 Minute Clinic
    • Provides an opportunity to focus on a specific problem, with the intention of resolving the issue to some extent
    • The 30 Minute Clinic is available on Wednesdays and Fridays during term time and can be booked from 10am the day before
    • Appointments can be booked by calling 01524592690 from 10am on Tuesday or Thursday
    • During the pandemic, the practitioners will contact you via Teams or audio call
  • The Wednesday Thing
    • Run by College Wellbeing Officers, this initiative offers hour long information sessions to help manage common issues faced by students
    • These are held at 2pm on Wednesdays during term time and are currently being held remotely
    • If you can’t attend a session, videos are available on the Lancaster University YouTube channel
  • SilverCloud
    • A free online guided self-help programme available to all Lancaster students
    • Designed to help you manage a range of issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, body image etc
    • The modules allow you to work through these issues at your own pace and are available to access in either a supported way (with check-ins from practitioners), or unsupported
  • BAME Support
    • This service has a specific option for BAME students to speak to BAME members of staff
    • There is no need for a self-referral, and the service can be accessed through emailing or by phoning 01524592690.
  • One-to-One Support
    • If you feel you may need regular support as your difficulties are affecting your day-to-day life, you can fill out a self-referral form with the Counselling and Mental Health Service
    • After filling out this form, the service team will be in touch to discuss a suitable way forward
  • Other Support
    • Lancaster Nightline: open 10pm – 1am during term time
      • Instant message:
    • Samaritans: 116123
    • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline: 08009154640
    • On-Campus Health Service: 01524387700

Academic Support

  • ASK (Advice, Support and Knowledge)
    • ASK is a student enquiry desk which offers general guidance on a range of academic and personal issues
  • Careers Service
    • This is a wide-ranging service which offers support for employment, CV and interview guidance, internships, and work experience etc
  • Academic Advisor
    • Should your department assign you an Academic Adviser, they are a great point of call to guide you through any difficulties you may be facing
    • Your Adviser can help you through subject-specific struggles but can also help guide you to other services if you don’t know where to refer yourself to
  • Learning Development Team
    • Offers support to students for: academic writing, english language, mathematics and statistics, academic reading, managing study issues, critical thinking, exam preparation etc

Disability Service

Please feel free to use this guide as a reference throughout your time at Lancaster; but also refer to the student portal to stay up to date with any new services or changes in contact information.

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