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Durham University

Counselling Service

When a mental health condition becomes a disability

When your condition is ongoing, i.e. lasting or expected to last at least 12 months, and has a substantial effect on your day to day life and activities as a student, you can declare a disability to the University.

Durham University is committed to enabling disabled students to participate fully in university life. Students are required to provide appropriate medical evidence to the Disability Support in order for reasonable adjustments to be made with your Department and College.

Medical evidence for mental health conditions must be no more than 24 months old and must be provided by one of the following:

  • General Practitioner (GP)
  • Psychiatrist
  • Clinical Psychologist

The evidence should contain the following information:

  • Diagnosis and date of diagnosis
  • Whether the condition has lasted or is likely to last 12 months or longer or is likely to reoccur
  • If the condition fluctuates
  • The impact your condition may have on your study or attendance
  • If possible and applicable, any prescribed medication and/or referral for psychological/specialist psychiatric treatment
  • The impact any treatment may have on study at Durham

An electronic copy of your medical evidence or enquiries relating to this can be sent to the Disability Support Service at

See the Disability Support webpages for more information.