Student wellbeing

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Student wellbeing

We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. Sometimes this is called ‘wellbeing’. It’s important to take time to look after your wellbeing, and staying happy and healthy will help you get the most out of your studies.

Finishing your school studies and moving onto college or university is an exciting time, but it can also have challenges and stressful points too.

Some of the stresses that young people and students can encounter:

  • Exam and deadline stress
  • Balancing your studies with other commitments such as family, friends, extracurricular activities and paid or volunteer work
  • External factors, like Covid-19
  • Managing your finances
  • Maintaining healthy relationships
  • Understanding your self-identity and sexual orientation
  • Retaining a healthy body image and confidence
  • Moving away from home, getting used to a new environment at college or university
  • Meeting new people and making friends

Support at college and university:

Every college and university have support services available, either through the student union, or university health, wellbeing or support services. You can find a list of support services at Scottish colleges and universities on the Think+ Positive website.

Take the time to find out where these are at your college or university. You never know when you or a friend might need them.

Top Tip: College or university are different from school – there is just as much (if not more!) support available, but it’s up to you to contact these support services. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, they are there to help you! And many of these are available online or remotely, too.

Types of support that are often available at college or university:

  • Welcome weeks and inductions to help you settle in and make new friends
  • Academic support and study skills workshops
  • Counselling for personal or study concerns
  • Medical services, GPs and dentists
  • Disability and inclusion services to put individual support in place
  • Financial support and emergency funds for students
  • Advice, societies and advocacy from your student union
  • Support for bullying, harassment or assault
  • Guidance on maintaining healthy relationships
  • Discounted gym memberships and activities

Tools to help you manage your wellbeing:

We know that some young people worry if they tell people they’re struggling with their mental health they will be judged, embarrassed or treated differently or unfairly. But please remember – everyone has mental health, everyone is entitled to respect, and there is always help and support available if you need it!

Here are some organisations that support students and young people, and are working to remove the stigma around mental health:

NUS Think + Positive

National Union of Students Scotland (NUS) and Scotland’s colleges and universities are working together on Think+ Positive to support student wellbeing and mental health, and tackle the stigma attached. Think+ Positive have a list of support and tools available online.

The NUS Healthy body healthy mind programme encouraged students to look after both their physical and mental health. Take a look at their Top Ten Tips to help keep a healthy balance.

Aye Mind

Aye Mind is on a mission to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people through the internet, social media and mobiles. They have a number of tools online which might help.


It's useful to think about the change from school to college or university, and also consider ways you can help to maintain mental health while you're a college/university student. SAMH have a  'coping with student life' webpage, and a downloadable self-help guide too.

LGBT Youth Scotland

Scotland’s LGBTI charity supports young people aged 13 – 25. They have an Advice Centre full of information, links to support groups and an online chat option.


Looking after your mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Taking steps to look after your mental health is especially important right now, when there is so much uncertainty and constant news updates.

YoungScot have created a new resource, Aye Feel, to support young people during this time. 


Useful contacts:

Why not save these numbers in your phone?

If you are in distress or an emergency, call 999 for immediate help.

If you are struggling with your health (physical or mental), make an appointment with your GP.

If your health is impacting on your studies, have a chat with your school Guidance Counsellor, or college or university student support services.


NHS 24 – Call free on 111, for health information and advice when your GP is not available.

The Samaritans – Call free on 116 123, for emotional support 24 hours a day. You can email or write a letter too.

ChildLine – For young people up to 19 years old. Call free on 0800 1111, 9am - midnight each day, or use their online chat and message boards.

Breathing Space - Call 0800 83 85 87 for help and support.