Listen & Communicate


Students suffering from a crisis can need a range of support. The following suggestions1 are a good base to start from when supporting a student in a crisis:

To prepare for the relaxation exercises:

  1. Do your best to make the student feel important, safe and supported while they are using your service
  2. Listen carefully to what the student has to say
  3. Ensure that your spaces are welcoming, appropriate and accessible
  4. Always offer the student your best effort
  5. Every situation will be different, but it's important to keep the lines of communication open (with the student's academic support, home university, host university, personal support, etc), so all services are well informed and can play their part to support the student

Do your best to be available to speak on the phone or via MS Teams if you can. The reassurance that you can offer a student in a crisis is very valuable. Take the time to prioritise and respond to a student who is struggling. Please keep in mind that sometimes this can be difficult to balance as you will need to take care of your own mental health as well.

Use the Support Resources within your Institution1


Most universities will have a list of helplines and supports available to their students (see an example here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/students/health-wellbeing/crisis-support/mental-health), use these resources and help students work through them if they’re unsure or don’t know which resource is best for them.

Knowing what resources are available to students will help you provide the best support you can.

  1. Financial Support Office
  2. Disability Services
  3. School or Academic Support Team
  4. Accommodation Support
  5. Health and Wellbeing Office
  6. Student Associations

There may be other offices or teams within your own institution that can help you, take the time to find out what services your students can access (whether they’re home students or students on exchange). In addition, knowing what’s available in your local area (outside of the university you’re in) is helpful in a crisis.

Sometimes reading over a number of websites can be really overwhelming for students and they may lack concentration during a crisis.

This curated list of TED talks may be helpful for students, depending on the situation they’re going through: https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling/self-help/apps-podcasts-ted-talks-relaxation-recordings/ted-talks.

Homesickness, Mindfulness & Relaxation: 2


Students who are on exchange can go through a number of different emotions when they’re away. For students who aren’t going through a crisis, but are feeling homesick, you can share this list of the top tips for when you’re feeling homesick: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/support_and_advice/the_advice_place/wellbeing/homesick_top_tips/.

For other tips on mindfulness and relaxation (when the student is in a difficult place, but not in immediate crisis), you can look through the other sections of this website to find resources and activities to suggest that will help students cope with a difficult situation.

The activities outlined in this link: https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling/what-works can help anyone (students or staff) enhance their mood during a tough time.


 https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/kids/resources-for-covid-19/resources-for-covid-19-children-and-young-  people/creating-routine/