We care about your wellbeing and there are a number of mechanisms to provide formal and informal support to graduate students on both academic and pastoral matters. Whether you have serious personal or scientific problems or are simply unsure how best to proceed, we encourage you to use the knowledge and experience of those around you to find a solution.
While it is hoped that your time at Cambridge will be an untroubled one, there may be occasions when you need additional help and support.
All students in Cambridge have a College Tutor who has general oversight of student welfare, with regard to academic, administrative and pastoral care, see:
Departmental Graduate Administrators
Graduate Administrators within your department or institute are the first port of call for matters within your department. Adisa Broadhurst is your Graduate Administrator and she will be happy to talk with you, formally or informally, about any issues you may be facing. Please don’t hesitate to knock on the door or send in an email to find out the best time to meet.
Clinical School Mental Health First Aiders
A team of around 15 trained volunteers from a number of departments are available to speak to any member of the School who believes that they are in or will soon be facing a mental health crisis. The Clinical School Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) are available to offer help and advice in times of need. Though not a 24 hour emergency service, the First Aiders are equipped with the following skills:
- Spot the early signs of a mental health issue
- Provide help on a first aid basis
- Help prevent someone from hurting themselves or others
- Help stop a mental health issue from getting worse
- Help someone recover faster
- Guide someone towards the right support
- Reduce the stigma of mental health issues
Contact details are available at www.medschl.cam.ac.uk/human-resources/staff-wellbeing/mental-health-first-aiders/.
University Counselling Service
The University of Cambridge Counselling Service exists to provide a professional service to students and staff of the College and University communities. The Service supports the mission of the University by offering:
- Counselling and mental health support – to students and staff, both individually and in groups, and, with strict regard to clients’ confidentiality, working in collaboration with Colleges, the University and NHS provision.
- Educational work – to help students and staff make the best personal use of the opportunities offered by the Colleges and University.
- Preventive work – consultation, guidance and training to those with a pastoral role in the Colleges and University, and provision of general feedback and recommendations to help promote a healthy working environment for both students and staff.
Students’ Unions’ Advice Service
The Students’ Unions’ Advice Service offers free, confidential and independent support to all Cambridge University students, and employs two professional advisors. Contact and service details are available at http://www.studentadvice.cam.ac.uk.
University Occupational Health
Occupational Health assists in ensuring that the work environment is safe and that a person’s health is not adversely affected by their work activities. The occupational health team comprises a small number of occupational health specialist doctors and nurses and administrative personnel who:
- Devise preventative strategies for identifying and controlling hazards to health arising from work.
- Advise on fitness for work, vocational placement, return to work after illness, ill health retirement, work-related illness and the control of occupational hazards.
- Assist in fulfilling statutory (e.g. health surveillance) and regulatory requirements (e.g. guidance on food safety, the application of the Equality Act) to ensure that the health of staff and others is not adversely affected by their work.
- Ensure that work health issues are appropriately managed.
- Promote health and wellbeing at work.
Clinical School Wellbeing Programme
The Clinical School runs a series of events each year to promote physical, mental and social wellbeing. Details of current and future events are available at www.medschl.cam.ac.uk/human-resources/staff-wellbeing/.
Fitness to Study
The phrase ‘fitness to study’ refers to a student’s capacity to fully engage with University life, both academically and otherwise, without unreasonable detriment to their wellbeing and whilst maintaining appropriate standards of behaviour. Where there are concerns regarding a student’s fitness to study, the University acts within a particular procedure, detailed at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/so/2017/chapter02-section27.html
If you are a matriculated student, your College may use its own Fitness to Study Procedure. However, the University’s Procedure can be used where the College Procedure is not appropriate, or a student does not have a College.
The Postgraduate Hardship Fund supports students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of unforeseen changes in their financial circumstances. The awards support students who would often otherwise be unable to complete their research or study. The scheme is funded by the University and Trust Fund donations and administered by the Student Registry.
If you do need to intermit on medical grounds, please discuss this with your supervisor/college tutor/departmental graduate administrator first. More details can be accessed here: https://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac.uk/your-course/graduate-study/your-student-status/medical-intermission