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Durham University

Counselling Service

Information for concerned parents

If there is immediate risk to the safety of the person you are concerned about go to our Crisis Page

For non-urgent concerns

It can be an exciting and challenging time for parents when your child starts university. Some students settle quickly and you can relax knowing they are enjoying student life. Others may not adjust so well and you may be concerned that they are not making friends, enjoying student life or doing well in their studies. It can be very hard for parents to know that their son or daughter is unhappy and feel powerless to help, particularly at a distance.

There are staff in the University who are here to support your son or daughter if they are struggling in some way.

Urge them to seek appropriate support:

If he/she is unwilling to access support you can email the Counselling & Mental Health Service at or call 0191 334 2200 to speak to a member of staff about your concerns.

You can also speak to their College Support Officer by calling the main College phone number.

Please remember that, whilst we can receive your concerns and offer general advice, we cannot share any information about your son or daughter. Durham University respects students as independent adult learners and is obligated under data protection law to hold your son or daughter’s personal data confidentially. We appreciate this can be distressing and frustrating for parents and we endeavour to help within these limitations.

Wellbeing resources for students and families/parents to access remotely