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Mental health and wellbeing

What is mental health?

Mental health is essential to our overall wellbeing and as important as our physical health. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing and affects how we think, feel and act. It also determines how we manage pressure, relate to others and overcome life’s challenges and setbacks.

Taking steps to look after our mental health is central to helping us enjoy our lives and make the most of our potential.

How do I look after my mental health?

There are many ways in which you can look after your mental health: 

What if I am feeling down?

You are not alone. Most people feel low sometimes, but if it’s affecting your life and if you’re concerned about your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek advice and support.

Students: our expert teams are here to help and guide you. Visit our student wellbeing pages for information and contact details of where and how to access support.

Staff: if you are struggling and feel you are in need of some support we encourage you to make use of the services detailed below. Managers who are concerned about colleagues should check our guidance on Supporting Mental Health for Staff.

  • The Staff Counselling and Psychological Support Service provides advice, information and counselling for staff in person, by email, phone and Zoom. Issues do not need to be work related. You can self-refer for personal and/or work related difficulties. This service is completely confidential – your identity and whatever you discuss with your counsellor will be always remain private. Please email or leave a message on 0113 343 3694.
  • The Occupational Health Team provide confidential wellbeing chats. Email if you’re feeling low or would just like a general chat.  An Occupational Health Practitioner (all nurses with wide-ranging experiences) will arrange a suitable time during office hours to speak with you.
  • Workplace support for your mental wellbeing – If you feel you are struggling and that your wellbeing is impacting your work or stopping you from attending work, try an externally provided virtual, confidential one-to-one workplace support appointment funded by the DWP.  They can help you with nine months of support including a wellbeing plan to help you stay in or attend work, tailored coping strategies and ideas for suitable workplace adjustments.  Book an appointment for the session - email with your name, home phone number, email and organisation name or call 0300 456 8114.
  • The University is a member of the Business Disability Forum (BDF) which provides specialist advice and a range of resources to help organisations implement best practice and embed disability equality. This provision is available to all staff – find out more on the University’s Equality and Inclusion Unit webpage.
  • University Chaplaincy - Chaplains come from different faith backgrounds and are here for staff of all faiths and all world views. For remote pastoral and spiritual support by appointment or virtual drop-in, contact (with your best availability, name and contact details, or leave a message on 0113 343 5071) or Muslim Adviser Farhat Yaqoob on 07713 707 857 or If you are a staff member in crisis you can call our 'out of hours' number 07780 613 862.  They will respond to you as soon as they can.

General support for mental health

  • The NHS offers practical information on where to get support if you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, or need urgent help.
  • Forum Central – a mental health helpline for any West Yorkshire resident who is concerned about their mental health or that of their family members or those they care for.
  • Leeds Mental Health Services – providing information and signposting to to local services in Leeds to assist with mental health needs.
  • Leeds Mindwell – local and national mental health support for men, women, LGBT+ , BAME, young people, older people, parents, carers, people with disabilities or physical health problems and others. 
  • For help with finances - contact the National Debt Helpline or Stepchange for advice with debt,  For affordable financial services contact Leeds City Credit Union.

Bereavement Support

  • Cruse Bereavement Care - if you are bereaved and would like to speak with someone, you can call Cruse Bereavement Care for free on 0808 808 1677.
  • GriefChat - an  online resource for bereavement support. GriefChat is free of charge and is open Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm to grieving or bereaved people.
  • The Good Grief Trust - for bereaved families, run by people who have experienced a bereavement themselves.
  • At a Loss - the UK’s bereavement signposting website, offering extensive online information and resources. 
  • Sudden - a charitable initiative for suddenly bereaved people and the people caring for them.
  • NHS Advice on dealing with grief, bereavement and loss.