Mental Health

Trigger Warning

This Page contains brief discussion of mental health crisis and mental health problems.

Many people have difficult periods of time at Cambridge, for a variety of complex reasons. It is normal, and quite common for people to seek mental health advice, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID‐19 pandemic.

Your GP and the NHS

If you are facing a difficult period, your GP should be able to offer you advice and options on how to improve your mental health. They will be able to tell you the services available in the local area, and in the NHS. For some mental health services, you need to speak to your GP. This is called a GP referral. Your GP can also talk about medication and therapy.

You can also access the NHS psychological therapies (IAPT) without a GP referral (you can self‐refer). They offer talking therapies which can be helpful for anxiety and depression.

Health and Wellbeing Centre

If you feel like you need someone to talk to, please contact Esther Manning, our Mental Health nurse, who will be able to support you, and recommend next steps. If more specialised help or treatment is required, she will refer or signpost you in the right direction whether via your GP, the University Counselling Service, or other local services.

University Counselling Service (UCS)

The University Counselling Service offers brief counselling, with the majority of students seen for an average of four sessions or fewer. As well as individual counselling, they provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and access to guided self‐help, where appropriate. Brief counselling and CBT both involve an active, collaborative process, with sessions or follow‐ups scheduled at weekly, fortnightly or longer intervals. This therapeutic approach can be effective for help with a wide range of personal, developmental and academic‐related problems.

In some cases they are able to offer some longer‐term support, often, this is through participating in a therapeutic group.

The Service also offers a variety of topic‐specific workshops throughout the year, as well as short‐term and longer‐term CBT and counselling groups. You can find out more about their groups and workshops at this link. 


If you feel like you’re in a crisis and need to speak to someone urgently, call 111 and select option 2. A mental health professional is available 247 to talk and assess your needs. Alternatively, Samaritans offer a listening service available at any time of day or night (Tel: 116 123).