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Durham University

Colleges and Student Experience Division

Wellbeing and Support

ISOLATION AND SUPPORT

These are potentially stressful times for everyone, but particularly for those who feel isolated from their usual support networks by distance and time zone.

  • We will all feel better if can create and sustain good networks for mutual support. See if you can engage with groups on WeChat or WhatsApp or other social media sites to maintain contact
  • Your College will be able to be assist with finding connections in your Common Room communities. Your College Officers are also available for general support issues
  • Consider self-referral to the Counselling Service if you feel in need of specialist support
  • The Counselling Service is working remotely and will offer sessions over Teams. Approach them if you feel that experiences of isolation, anxiety or depression are impacting your capacity to be supported by family and friends
  • On the Counselling Service web page you can find information about accessing Out of Hours Support, and links to various online mental health resources specific to the challenges posed by the Covid 19 and social isolation.

STUDENT WELLBEING AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT OFFICE

The SWCE Office offers weekly Zoom Yoga sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 12:00-13:00. Each class has a maximum capacity of 30 participants, so please email wellbeing.swceoffice@durham.ac.uk to book your spot. A link to the Zoom class will be provided after you have booked your place.

Gavin, the University's Coordinating Chaplain, is offering Mindfulness Meditation and the Listening Service, virtually.These services are available to all students and staff, and are coordinated by Gavin with all of the University Chaplains.

To make an appointment for the Listening Service, or to meet virtually 1-2-1 with a Chaplain, please email chaplaincy@durham.ac.uk.

Mindfulness Meditation will be offered from April 24 2020, via Zoom. More details to follow.

For more details of our wellbeing activities and updates, check out our Instagram page @du_studentwellbeing.


  • I have experienced harassment or abuse – who can I tell / how can I report this?

The Police take any instances of harassment and abuse very seriously and crimes of this nature can be reported via the non-emergency number 101 or via 999 if the situation requires an urgent / immediate response.

The University is also fully committed to a zero tolerance approach to harassment and abuse. You can find out more about available support and how to report any incidents here.

You can also speak with your College support team who will be able to support and advise you.


  • I experience mental health difficulties and need support at this time.

The Mental Health Advisors are registered mental health nurses based in the Counselling Service. They are not able to provide treatment but can offer advice and guidance to students with diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health difficulties. Please email counsel.service@durham.ac.uk.


  • I have a disability and/or medical condition and would like advice on support available during this time.

Advice and support outside the University:

  • Your GP: any initial contact with your GP is likely to be by telephone. Do not attend the University Health Centre in person unless you have already spoken to the GP and been invited to attend an in-person consultation
  • Claypath Medical Practice - Tel: 0191 374 6888
  • University Health Centre - Tel: 0191 386 5081
  • NHS Helpline 111 – this number will be busier than usual so please be patient and use only in an urgent situation

Advice and support within the University:

  • Disability Support: a specialised service providing information, advice and guidance to disabled students. This service is available to both current and prospective students. The service can be emailed via disability.support@durham.ac.uk
  • If you have specific questions relating to exams and assessments, and you are registered with Disability Support, please see the FAQs here.

  • I want to try and maintain my health and fitness while socially distancing – can the University help with that

The University's Fitness and Wellbeing Centre are offering health and fitness inspiration, as well as regular tips and classes. Find out more on their Facebook page.

The University’s Student Wellbeing and Community Engagement Office are running Zoom yoga using their regular yoga instructor. They normally run yoga classes in the Library and at Ustinov in normal circumstances, and continue during the vacations. The instructor is now offering them via Zoom twice a week. Details can be found on Instagram @du_studentwellbeing or by emailing wellbeing.swceoffice@durham.ac.uk.

Gavin Wort, the University’s Coordinating Chaplain, works in the Student Wellbeing and Community Engagement Office and is liaising with the Chaplains to deliver:

      • Listening Service – this is being offered online to students and staff 
      • Mindfulness Meditation - this is being offered online from the 24th of April, to students and staff, via Zoom
      • A project looking into celebration of religious festivals 'virtually'.

      For more information, contact Gavin via chaplaincy.swceoffice@durham.ac.uk.


          • I am feeling very isolated currently and would like to chat to someone about how things are going // I have experienced a bereavement and need support.

          Consider self-referral to the Counselling Service if you feel in need of specialist support. The Service is working remotely and will offer sessions over Teams. Approach them if you feel that experiences of isolation, anxiety or depression are impacting your capacity to be supported by family and friends.

          Chaplains are an integral part of the welfare provision and pastoral support that the University offers both to staff and students.