Students painting mugs during workshop at the feel good festival

Wellbeing service events

Discover the workshops and events on offer to help with issues you might experience while at university

The Student Wellbeing Service provides a programme of events, workshops and courses for learning and practising strategies to manage common issues and improve your wellbeing.

You can drop in to our weekly Wellbeing Cafe for friendly company and fun wellbeing activities, or attend the popular annual Feel Good Fest with hands-on activities and taster sessions for feeling good.

When you register for support with us we will work out a personalised support pathway that may include one or more of our workshops. Or you can just browse our full programm to book directly onto a course or workshop that suits you.

Workshops, courses and events

The Student Wellbeing Service runs a series of workshops and courses expanding on our distinctive Wellbeing for Learning model.

  • All workshops and courses include positive wellbeing skills, such as mindfulness and self-compassion.
  • Many workshops target common student issues like sleep difficulties, procrastination, perfectionism, low mood or anxiety .
  • Our short courses consolidate useful skills to manage the ups and downs of student life.

All courses and workshops are run in small groups and offer a chance to share and learn from others in a relaxed and friendly environment. You will not be asked to share personal information but will have the opportunity to develop strategies and implement them in your life.

How to book

Places are limited, so it's essential to book these courses in advance. Contact the Student Wellbeing Service:

Tel: +44 (0)23 9284 3466

Student Wellbeing Service
Floor 2, Nuffield Centre
St Michael's Road
Portsmouth PO1 2ED

Our wellbeing workshops and events

Explore our upcoming workshops and events.

Current workshops and events

The Wellbeing Cafe is a friendly weekly meeting place jointly run by the University's Student Wellbeing Service and the Students' Union. You can drop in, connect with others and have a cup of tea. Highlights include:

  • the opportunity to meet up with others interested in supporting their own wellbeing at university
  • the chance to take part in informal activities – everything from creative writing, crafts and mindfulness to more practical support like budgeting advice to take the stress out of managing money
  • access to occasional guests invited to lead discussions on particular topics, or run activities

There will always be a member of staff from the Wellbeing Service as well as representatives of the student-led Wellbeing Society there to meet and greet you.


Every Wednesday during term-time between 4.00pm and 5.30pm.


Cafe Coco

Alternatively, a Wellbeing Adviser can arrange to meet you beforehand and you can discuss it together. Just call the Student Wellbeing Service administrator on +44 (0)23 9284 3466 and ask to speak to Ruth Geddes, or email –

Whether you use mental health services in Portsmouth or support someone who does, the University's Student Wellbeing Service is collaborating with the Solent Recovery College to offer you the opportunity to learn about recovery through a range of free courses and short sessions.

Taught in a classroom setting, students can learn practical skills for living with ongoing symptoms and learn how to get the best from mental health services in a safe and confidential space.

All of the sessions are designed in partnership between Solent Mind's Peer Trainers and staff from Solent NHS Trust, allowing those who have lived with mental health issues to share their experiences and skills supported by mental health professionals.

Courses offered include:

  • Skills for Life at University
  • Understanding and Living with Anxiety
  • Understanding and Living with Depression
  • Understanding and Living with a Personality Disorder
  • Supporting Someone else’s Recovery
  • Living with Bipolar
  • Understanding and Developing Mindfulness
  • Understanding Mind and Body; and Making a Change
  • Coping in a Crisis
  • Exam stress
  • Writing your Recovery Narrative

Browse the Solent Recovery Centre's current courses.

You can join other students, staff, local artists and organisations at this free annual event packed with activities to promote personal wellbeing.

As well as information and advice, activities include:

  • Free food tasting
  • Performances and entertainment from societies
  • Craft workshops
  • Get active taster sessions courtesy of Sport and Rec
  • Giveaways and raffle prizes

There is no need to book, just turn up on the day.


Wednesday 5 February 2020 from 1.00pm to 4.00pm.


Third Space, Students' Union

Mindfulness is an integrative, mind and body based approach that helps us change the way we think and feel about our experiences. During the 4-week course, you will learn to:

  • Stay in touch with the present moment and less caught up in negative thoughts and overthinking
  • Deepen your awareness and respond more skilfully to events in your life
  • Reduce and manage low levels of anxiety, depression and stress

You will be invited to practise mindfulness on a regular basis and you will gain most if you can make a commitment for the full course.


Tuesdays from 5.00pm to 6.00pm (term time only from 15 October 2019 to 24 March 2020)


Blue Room, 2nd Floor, Nuffield Centre

For many, CBT is the key to a good life. Want to see if it's yours?

CBT recognises that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion), and how we act (behaviour), interact together and impact on each other.

Identifying negative thinking patterns and learning constructive alternatives can enable us to change our behaviour and result in a positive shift in the way we feel.

In this workshop you will:

  • Learn how CBT can transform your mindset
  • Gain a better understanding of the things that influence your mood and wellbeing
  • Learn how to make positive changes in your life
  • Be prepared to go on to the From Stress to Success course


  • Tuesday 21 January 2020 from 1.00pm to 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 28 January 2020 from 1.00pm to 2.30pm

The Students' Union Advice Service, which is a separate service to the Student Wellbeing service, can also offer confidential, impartial and non-judgemental support on a range of issues. The service is independent from the University and all enquiries are dealt with in confidence. The team works closely with the University to resolve issues and ensure students are treated fairly. For more information, see the Students' Union website.

Talking Change is a free NHS service offering supported self-help and talking therapies (mainly cognitive behaviour therapy) for people registered with a Portsmouth GP and suffering from anxiety or depression. Self-referral is possible by completing the online referral, or your GP can refer you. You can also access Talking Change on campus, via the Student Wellbeing Service.

Past workshops and events

The surprising way that our minds work and how we can work with them, not against.

This workshop offers an introduction to the concepts of the Compassionate Mind Model. Armed with this understanding you will be able to benefit from it's application in many areas of your life like building positive relationships (with others as well as yourself), increasing emotional resilience, and feeling more optimistic.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • The 3 Systems Compassionate Mind Model and how it can help make sense of your inner life
  • How developing compassion for yourself and others will improve relationships
  • Breathing exercises and visualisation techniques to help you manage your mind and be your best you
  • To develop your own compassionate mind toolkit
  • The benefits of attending the full compassionate mind course

This course is for students who want to learn more about themselves. Students have worked with us to design these sessions to help you better understand what is important to you, what you value in life, and to learn skills to help you relate to your thoughts and emotions differently.

Access to this course is by invitation only, for students who have registered with the Student Wellbeing Service and have been seen by a practitioner.

This is a weekly skills-based personal development course. You won't be expected to discuss your problems but often students feel increasingly able to share their thoughts and personal experiences about what works well for them over the course of the group.

However, you can just sit and listen, if you prefer.

Each session focuses on topics about Being You including:

  • What are values and how to identify your own values
  • Common blocks to living by our values
  • How to relate to those blocks differently, including mindfulness, learning to relate to your thoughts differently, self-compassion, acceptance, and being true to yourself and each other in relationships

Each session is 90 minutes long and there will be a refreshments break in between.

What if I would like to attend the course but I find groups difficult?

Many students have spoken to us about their worries about being in a group. Before you start, you can meet one of the group facilitators to talk through your worries, and look at ways to manage these within the group setting.

The aim of this course is to build on your understanding of the theory behind the Compassionate Mind Model. This is a skills-based personal development course which will help you thrive personally and academically and help you build more positive relationships.

Understanding why it's good to replace counter-productive self-criticism with greater tolerance, kindness, and self-compassion, will help you to realise what is really holding you back and support you in stepping out of the vicious cycle of self-judgement.

Week 1:

  • Improving relationships with others and learning how to be a better friend
  • Why we struggle with compassion

Week 2:

  • Using the concept of compassion to help deal with difficult and challenging situations in your life
  • Understanding the benefits of receiving help and compassion from others

Week 3:

  • Understanding the functions of self-criticism and self-judgement and how self-compassion can help you feel better about yourself
  • Creating and applying a personalised self-compassion toolkit to transform your relationship with yourself and others

It is mandatory that you first attend the Be Your Own Best Friend workshop before enrolling on to the Compassionate Mind Training course.

Participants will need to commit to attending all three Compassionate Mind Training sessions to benefit most, as each builds on the previous one, so do check your availability before signing up.

This is a skills-based course designed to help students understand and manage the impact of stress more effectively. The course runs for 4 weeks with a 90-minute session each week. In this course your will learn:

  • Week 1: What is stress, getting a balanced life and how to create SMART goals.
  • Week 2: Time management and prioritising. What is rumination and challenging negative automatic thoughts.
  • Week 3: Assertiveness and communication skills.
  • Week 4: How nutrition, sleep, and exercise impact on your mood and wellbeing.

Relaxation techniques and practical problem solving.

It is mandatory that you first attend the Introduction to CBT workshop before enrolling onto the From Stress to Success course. This is so that you can make an informed decision about making the commitment to attend the full course.

To enrol for this course, you need to be registered with a Portsmouth GP.

Contact information
  • Student Wellbeing Service
  • Floor 2, Nuffield Centre, St Michael's Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2ED
  • +44 (0)23 9284 3466

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