Graduation; 15th July 2019

Helping a student in distress

Support for students

Starting University is often a time of big change for new students. Whether it’s moving away from home, managing finances, or cooking meals - often young people can be experiencing many of these for the first time.

It can be worrying if you feel your child is finding aspects of University life difficult - especially if you’re not physically close by to help them out.

However at the University of Portsmouth our students have access to a range of support services that can help them navigate University life, and provide specialist support if needed.

Tips for parents or supporters helping a student at university

As a parent and supporter, it’s natural to worry about your child – especially when they are living away from home. 

There are plenty of things you can do to support your child at university, should they be in distress. Remind them you are there for them, give them lots of encouragement and keep your communication lines open.

However, if things get difficult for your child to manage, encourage them to reach out to their university support services, where specialist teams are on hand to listen and help.

Student support services

Most UK universities offer a wide variety of support for students. From wellbeing and finance services to careers and academic support.

New students will be able to meet the friendly staff behind these services at their university Freshers’ Fayre and other events throughout their time at university. Services are likely to include:

  • Student Wellbeing Service: Universities will typically have a student wellbeing service in place to support a student’s personal, mental health and emotional needs.
  • Chaplaincy: If a student needs advice with health and wellbeing support as well as for faith issues, domestic abuse, marriage advice and substance abuse advice.
  • The Students' Union: For impartial and non-judgemental support on a range of academic and university issues that can affect your child's experience.
  • Academic Skills: If a student is struggling academically, this service offers personalised support and one-to-one tutorials.
  • Maths support: If a student is struggling with the Maths aspect of their studies.
  • Financial support: Here to support students with funding or managing their money.
  • Careers support: Ready to offer advice and help students look for work, volunteering roles and graduate jobs.
  • Disability support: A support service for those with a disability, medical condition or learning difference.

At Portsmouth, students can contact our teams and reach out for advice and support at any time. Explore our services below to find out what they offer and how students can get in touch.

Student wellbeing at Portsmouth

Our Student Wellbeing Service provides free mental health, wellbeing and counselling support for students. We offer one-to-one support like daily advice sessions and counselling, and workshops, courses, events and support groups to connect with others.

Student life and wellbeing services


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Student finance

UoP piggybank
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International student advice

Ethnic women
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Student accommodation

Catherine House Images - Yugo
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Res Life and student wellbeing

Smiling health and wellbeing staff members
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Academic and careers support

Academic Skills Unit (ASK)

Help with developing writing, managing assessments and approaching academic tasks | +44 (0)23 9284 3462

Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC)

Confidential advice and support on disability-related issues | +44 (0)23 9284 3462

Careers support

Brush up CV skills, find a placement or volunteering opportunities | +44 (0)23 9284 2684

Students' union

Independent advice, support and representation for University of Portsmouth students | +44 (0)23 9284 3628

Sharing information about students

Most of our support services are bound by confidentiality rules and agreements with students, who are adults. We will only share information with third parties such as a student’s family member where a student gives permission for us to do so, or if we have serious concerns about a student’s welfare.