Mental Health Advisory Service

Our service is a referral service to help you if you have complex mental health difficulties, such as a diagnosed or emerging severe and enduring mental health difficulty.

You must be referred to us by your doctor at the Students' Health Service or by one of our Student Counselling Service counsellors.

Examples of complex mental health difficulties

  • harming yourself deliberately which has resulted in injuries that need medical attention
  • losing a sense of reality
  • having very unusual beliefs
  • rapid weight loss
  • having plans for suicide or previous suicide attempts
  • confused or disturbed thoughts that may not make sense to you or others
  • major changes in mood
  • feeling out of control
  • impulsive behaviour that causes you harm
  • seeing or hearing things that other people don’t

About the staff

picture of david sibley

David Sibley - Lead for MHAS. Full-time.

photo of Nicky Bacon

Nicky Bacon - Mental Health Adviser. Part time: Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

photo of Polly

Polly Powell - Mental Health Adviser. Part time: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

More about the MHAS staff

What motivates us?

  • We believe in the potential of all students to have a fulfilling university experience
  • We believe that students with severe and enduring mental health difficulties have the right to appropriate support and this can enable them to succeed
  • We believe that proactive interventions make a difference
  • We know that people can learn to manage their mental health problems

If you are referred to the Mental Health Advisory Service

You will be invited to an initial consultation with a Mental Health Advisor.

Your mental health consultation

At your consultation your advisor will explore the aspects of your mental health you are struggling with.
They will discuss your mental health history, and anything currently putting you at risk. They will create a care plan with you.

Your care plan

Your care plan will focus on your strengths and help you find the right support at University and in the wider community. This might include liaising with other services, such as those provided by the NHS and signposting you to other services and resources that might help you. MHAS blank care plan (Office document, 131kB)

Things to bring to your consultations

  • any care plans that have helped you in the past
  • contact details of people and services that support you, (eg. NHS services at home, current personal tutor etc)

Support available after your mental health consultation

If you need further support after your consultation we can offer a further care planning session and targeted time bound sessions.

Confidentiality and consent

We follow the Student Counselling Service's confidentiality policy.
During your initial consultation we will discuss who you are happy to give us consent to liaise with.
To get the most from our service, we encourage you to share your care plan with everyone supporting you. This is your decision.

The amount of support we can offer will be limited if we do not have permission to work with other services that support you.


Our service is by referral only. If you think you need to be referred, contact your doctor or contact our Student Counselling Service staff.

How the service might help you

Read Simon's story to find out how our service might be able to help you. 

Useful resources

Make a Safety Plan
Students Against Depression
Use the distrACT app

More self help resources 

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