As a new or returning student, you may have a few questions about how to reach the support you need whilst at the University of Reading. This could be a question you don’t know how to answer to or it could be help for something more specific. We have amazing support teams which are free for you to use so make the most of their expertise whilst you’re a student.
Let’s look at the support available to you:
For any questions, you might have:
If you are not sure where to direct your question, contact your Support Centre, Henley Helpdesk, ISLI admin office or the Graduate School. The Student Support Co-ordinators in the Support Centres are here to answer your questions or direct you to the right specialist advice team that will have the answers. You can also use the ‘Ask a question’ facility on RISIS and we will route your question to the right people for a prompt and accurate answer.
For Covid-19 support:
We have a designated section of Essentials covering all Covid-related topics (Teaching & Learning in 21/22, testing, vaccinations, self-isolation, Health & Safety and much more). This should be your first port of call. You can also email the dedicated Covid Support and Behaviour Team who can further help to guide and support you with anything Covid-related.
For Careers and Employability:
The UoR Careers Service continues to win national awards and recognition for its work and there is a very full schedule of events planned for the autumn term blending the in-person with the virtual.
You may think you need to know what you want to do in order to consult the Careers Service but this is definitely not true. The Service supports you from wherever you are in your thinking. Look out for fairs across the term. Here is our quick guide to Careers Services
For Money matters:
The Student Financial Support team provide you with 1:1 advice and guidance on money matters. They can help with Student Loan queries, tuition fee queries, bursaries, hardship funds, digital support funds and more. You can also use the Financial Education platform Blackbullion which provides excellent advice on managing your finances while at University.
For Disabilities and medical conditions:
You are encouraged to disclose any disabilities or diagnosed conditions to the University via the Disability Advisory Team, in order that the University can consider reasonable adjustment for teaching & assessment and provide appropriate support and guidance. There is a wealth of information on the Essentials website.
We always encourage all you to register with a local GP practice and this will of course be even more important this year.
Maintenance of positive mental health:
- Looking After Yourself Guide – covering a wide range of topics such as sleep, food, relationships, staying safe, sexual health, drugs, alcohol, academic pressure, and much more!
- Life Tools programme – free workshops that help you develop the skills and resilience to manage your life at University. These will take place largely online to facilitate greater access in 2021/22.
Self-help and instant access:
- Online self-help guidance: NHS guides covering 19 different topics
- Wellness Checker – helps you to identify what the issue is and what sort of support/help is appropriate.
- External resources for you.
Support when struggling:
- The Student Welfare team –The team is made up of professional welfare staff who are able to advise and guide you on a wide range of personal and well-being issues that may impact your studies and day-to-day life, from relationship problems, family issues, drugs or alcohol, and much more.
- The Counselling & Wellbeing Team – is a small team of Counsellors and Mental Health Advisors who will see you for an initial assessment followed by referral to the most appropriate support. This may be a referral to one of the following: self-help materials; an intensive one-off session with one of our team to identify strategies for you to deploy, a limited number of counselling sessions to help you get back on track, an appointment with a Mental Health Advisor, or referral to external services for more lengthy ongoing support.
- Halls Wardens and Hall mentors – the Halls welfare team provide support to you if you are living in halls. They will help to advise you about the day-to-day challenges of living in a communal environment and will also signpost you to other more specialist resources. Hall mentors are postgraduate students and provide a friendly and approachable face. Hall Wardens will also manage any disciplinary issues within the Halls.
Harassment, racism, bullying, violence, discrimination
You should report any of these instances via our #NeverOK channel. The Student Welfare Team will take steps to support you and discuss any action you may wish to take.
Many adults will experience feelings of hopelessness or suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. If you are feeling suicidal, the most important thing is to talk to someone. If you don’t feel you can talk to friends or family about this, come to see our Student Welfare Team. They will listen to you and help you to access the right support.
- If you need urgent help, but it’s not an emergency, you can call the NHS Mental Health Crisis Team – Call 0800 129 9999
- If you are feeling suicidal or desperate to talk to someone, you can call the Samaritans for free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 116 123.
- PAPYRUS is the national UK charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide and offers a telephone and text service on 0800 068 4141. The service is staffed by trained mental health professionals 10am – 10pm weekdays and 2 – 5pm at the weekend.
- Your doctor/GP practice. If you are registered with the University Medical practice in Northcourt Avenue, the number is: 0118 987 4551. Otherwise, please contact the doctor with whom you are registered.
- Non-urgent NHS medical help/advice: 111
- Emergency services: 999
- University Security Team emergency number: 0118 378 6300
- University Security Team non-emergency number: 0118 378 7799
Settling in, loneliness, making friends
Settling in can be daunting, particularly this year, but there are so many opportunities to get involved and meet other people. In particular:
- You can find Student Events on Essentials which lists all sorts of different events taking place on campus.
- As always RUSU has many different clubs and societies where you can find people who might share an interest.
- Volunteering is also an excellent way of getting involved and meeting others
- As is getting a job, especially on campus. Campus Jobs
- And last but not least, if you are a new undergraduate student you will have been allocated a student mentor to help with settling in and navigating the University – so make use of your mentor!