Support in a crisis
Health and wellbeing
Life is full of ups and downs, and your time at university is no exception. If you need urgent support in a crisis here’s what to do.
In an emergency
If you or someone else has experienced an incident and/or someone is at immediate risk of serious harm then call 999.
On campus you can also call (0)23 9284 3333 for campus security. We recommend adding this number to your phone right away.
If you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency, contact the NHS 24-hour helpline on 111. This is the number to call for mental health crises.
If you have an enquiry related to covid, please first read through our 'coronavirus information for students' pages. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, get in touch with us on our Coronavirus Information Line.
Please note, this team cannot provide you with a coronavirus test appointment – instead read the information on coronavirus testing for students.
Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 5588
The phone line is open Monday - Thursday 8.30am - 5.00pm and Friday 8.30am - 4.00pm and Saturday and Sunday 10.00am - 4.00pm.
During office hours - Student Wellbeing Service
The Student Wellbeing Service is open 8.30am – 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am – 4pm on Fridays.
Daily advice sessions are bookable on the day on a first-come first-served basis. Phone +44 (0)23 9284 3466 to find out times and book a slot. Let the administrator know if you are in need of urgent crisis support, as it may be more appropriate to contact emergency services.
In the event of a serious mental health or psychiatric problem, a duty practitioner can be contacted via Student Wellbeing Service Reception +44 (0)23 9284 3466 for consultation or to arrange a possible urgent assessment with NHS mental health services.
The consultation service is also available to anyone who is concerned about a student, including fellow students, parents and University staff.
In an emergency, or if there is immediate risk of serious harm to yourself or others, please call 999.
Out of hours
If you need to talk to someone outside our normal opening hours:
- Use the emergency information listed above where relevant.
- The Campus Security team can contact the out of hours support team. This could be someone from the Res Life team or one of the chaplains from the University Chaplaincy Service.
- If you already have our WhatsUp app the SOS Call function goes through to our new 24/7 multilingual helpline where you can talk to a trained mental health professional straight away.
- If you prefer to communicate by text, use the SOS Text button in WhatsUP, text CAM to 85258 to get through to the 24/7 Shout Crisis messenger service, or visit the Togetherall moderated peer support community.
- For anonymous support, consider contacting the Samaritans. They provide a 24-hour listening service on 116 123.
- You can also contact your GP who has 24-hour responsibility for your care.
If you feel at risk of taking your own life
Many people who have thought about or attempted suicide feel grateful later that they did not act or succeed with that impulse.
If you have harmed yourself, or are intending to do so now as you read this, please use the emergency advice above and make it clear that you feel at risk.
Alternatively, please try the following options:
Seeing a doctor
During GP opening hours you may be able to get an emergency appointment.
St Mary's NHS Treatment Centre
If you are not registered with a doctor in Portsmouth then you can call +44 (0)33 3200 1822 to see if you can be seen at the St Mary’s walk-in treatment centre.
Accident and Emergency Department
Go to A&E if you can get a friend to accompany you. If not, phone 999 and let the staff know that you're feeling unsafe and at risk of harming yourself.
Helplines and websites
Talking honestly to someone about how you are feeling can really help. You can access our Student Wellbeing Service 24/7 multilingual helpline to speak to a trained mental health professional immediately at any time. You can also use the helpline to request ongoing counselling and can specify you would like a counsellor from a specific ethnicity or other cultural background (eg LGBTQ+) and in most languages. Phone the Samaritans free on 116 123 or use the CAM Crisis Messenger service by texting CAM to 85258.
You might also find these websites helpful:
- Togetherall – An online community for anonymous peer to peer support, moderated 24/7 by trained professionals. Register with your University of Portsmouth email address to set up your anonymous user name.
- Papyrus – The national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. They can provide you with confidential advice and support.
- SupportLine – Confidential telephone helpline and web pages with support on the issue of suicide.
- Students Against Depression – Student-focused advice and resources for those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking.
Create a safety plan
Develop a safety plan for times when you're feeling low. A safety plan can help you make sense of your suicidal thoughts and learn strategies for surviving them. And can keep you safe when you're at risk.
Use this safety plan worksheet from Students Against Depression to develop your safety plan.
Think about making an appointment with the Student Wellbeing Service to discuss how you feel with a member of the team. We can help you think through your safety plan and build strategies for keeping yourself safe.
Support after sexual violence
For specialist and confidential medical support and advice after a sexual assault the best place to go is the Treetops Centre, Portsmouth’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Phone the 24/7 helpline on 0300 123 6616. You can use the SARC at any time even if the sexual assault took place some time ago.
Also contact the Student Wellbeing Service to get further support and advice for dealing with the impact on your studies.