Concerned about a student?
Health and wellbeing
Are you concerned about a University of Portsmouth student? You may be a fellow student, a member of staff, a concerned parent or family member, or a medical professional wishing to make a referral.
The Student Wellbeing Service offers a consultation service for anyone who is concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of a Portsmouth student. Please call or email via our main contact details and explain to the admin team that you would like raise a concern. We aim to put you in touch with a duty practitioner on the same day if at all possible.
Our consultation services will:
- Record third party concerns
We welcome third party information raising any concerns about a student and will make a note of the information on our confidential record system. The collated information may contribute to decisions we make about how best to support a student. Unless you are a fellow student, if we agree to take proactive action we will usually tell the student who has contacted us and what they have told us.
- Explain our service in general terms
It is important that students using our service can be confident that we maintain confidentiality. We can explain how our service works in general terms, but we will not share information about any particular student without their explicit consent to do so. The exception to this is if we have concerns about serious harm coming to a student and we need to share information with others who can contribute to keeping the student (or others students) safe.
- Discuss how you can support the student
Our consultation service will also help you think through what you can do in whatever supportive role you play with the student. As someone who knows the student, you could play an important role in helping them understand and engage with any additional support they may need.
- Help you recognise the limits of your responsibility
It can be very stressful and worrying to support someone who is experiencing a crisis or mental health difficulties, and you may find it a relief to talk things through and be reassured that you have done all you can. There is a limit to what someone else can do to keep another person safe and it is important to take care of your own wellbeing too. If you are a fellow student we will usually encourage you to book an appointment with us to make sure you are getting all the support you need.
Information for University of Portsmouth staff can be found on our intranet web pages.
If you have experienced or witnessed an incident of harassment, bullying, discrimination or violence involving a University of Portsmouth student we encourage you to report this via our Speak UP process. You will have the opportunity to provide a name and contact details to get advice and support for next steps, or you can make an anonymous report if you wish.
More on information sharing
As part the University of Portsmouth Student Charter students are encouraged to make use of strong partnerships and support networks to achieve their personal, academic and career goals. As part of our distinctive Wellbeing for Learning philosophy we actively encourage students to map their support networks and to strengthen all their supportive connections.
When students are receiving support at the Student Wellbeing Service, we work collaboratively with them to consider and make additional use of all relevant sources of support. This includes active encouragement to tell key members of their support network when they are experiencing difficulties, and to involve parents and other family members whenever relevant. We also proactively ask them for their consent to share concerns with others who can contribute to keeping them safe.
At the University of Portsmouth have a longstanding practice of asking students to provide a name and contact details for a family member or other suitable person that we can contact if we have serious concerns about their welfare. A decision for the University to contact a student’s emergency contact is always considered carefully and taken with the advice of professional staff from the Student Wellbeing Service and other relevant senior staff. We would always aim to contact others with the student’s explicit consent, but would do so without consent if we thought this was in their vital interests.