The Student Wellbeing service is run in partnership with Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust. It's confidential, completely free and open to all BU students who are experiencing stress, anxiety or low mood. We're open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Call us on 01202 965020 or email email@example.com.
How to find us
We are based on the first floor in Talbot House, directly above the GP surgery. There is an accessible lift to the service. Talbot House is adjacent to the Student Village on the Talbot Campus. For more detailed information on how to find us, view our campus maps.
It may be possible to arrange car parking for your appointment, though we would need to share your name with reception. Please phone us in advance on 01202 965020 to discuss this or any other access requirements.
Booking an appointment
There are a several ways to refer yourself with our service or book an appointment:
- By calling us on 01202 965020 and leaving a voicemail if you are calling outside of reception hours
- Online by completing the referral form and emailing it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- In person, by calling into reception during opening hours. Please call ahead or check our website for holiday opening times.
"The first few weeks at university are challenging. You are placed in a new environment with people you don’t know, going places you’ve never been and doing things you’ve never done before; if you’re not nervous about any of it, you must be some sort of superhuman! Do not fret if you feel completely swamped by it all." Read BU student Imogen’s blog to see how best to settle into life at BU.
During term-time we run daily drop-in sessions from Monday - Friday, 2pm-3pm, at Talbot House.
In addition, the Sexual Trauma and Recovery Service run drop-in sessions on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 12pm-2pm in Faith & Reflection.
We can offer practical help with issues such as stress, worry, homesickness, panic, sleeping and eating difficulties, lifestyle issues and low mood or anxiety. Your Wellbeing Advisor will help you to access more intensive support if it is needed.
‘The Student Wellbeing team is amazing. These people really know what they are talking about when you go there with any issues. They also understand the different courses and the types of pressures you may face at BU, so use them if you need to’. read more of BU student Patrycja’s blog ‘There’s no shame in asking for help’.
Support from a counsellor
You can access a block of six sessions with a counsellor. Counselling offers a place to talk about and reflect on whatever is troubling you in a safe, supported and confidential environment.
We run regular workshops covering topics such as mood boost, managing worry, self-esteem & communication, managing anxiety & panic, managing your time, goal setting & keeping well, relaxation, improving sleep or exam stress.
'You’re not alone! BU’s got everything from academic and financial support to a little extra help with emotional and medical advice. Please don’t suffer in silence, reach out to BU and the will be able to help'. Read BU student Danielle’s blog on the support services BU can offer.
Information and links to other services
We can help you find and access services supporting a range of issues including eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, sexual health and bereavement.
Please note: Under current funding arrangements, students attending Partner Colleges (including those on BU programmes) are not eligible to use the service. Arrangements are in place for counselling to be provided by the partner colleges.
The Samaritans provide confidential, non-judgemental, emotional support 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. You can call the Samaritans free anytime on 116 123 or, if you are worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email email@example.com.
If you're having a difficult time, struggling with every day life, or worried about someone else, the Samaritans can help you.
You can also visit the Samaritans drop in centre in Bournemouth at 1 Durrant Road, BH2 6LE - which is open from 9am-9pm every day, including weekends. It's approximately a 10 minute walk from Bournemouth Square - walk up Richmond Hill, turn left onto St Stephen's Road and take the second right onto Durrant Road - the Samaritans drop in centre is towards the end of Durrant Road, near the A338. See the map for details.
Big White Wall
Big White Wall (BWW) is an online mental health support service available 24/7, and is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. Access to this service is free to all BU students - you'll need to register the first time you use the service but this is really quick to do. Professionally trained Wall Guides monitor the community to ensure the safety and anonymity of all members.
To sign up simply go to the Big White Wall - and click on the ‘join us’ section were you'll need to enter a few details under the ‘organisation’ section, but all details will remain completely anonymous. You should also set up a username that can't be identified to you. After 6 months you'll receive a reminder from BWW with an option to renew your account.
In addition to BWW’s online community, you will have access to a wealth of useful information and can work through tailored self-help programmes covering topics such as anxiety, sleep, weight management, depression and many more. Visit the Big White Wall website for more information or to sign up.
The Retreat provides a safe and welcoming environment for people who have self-identified their crisis and want to access support. It is open to anyone who is 18 and over and lives in Dorset. You do not need to call ahead but can just turn up.
A person can present at The Retreat if they feel that they are in crisis, are pre-empting a crisis or are seeking support. The Retreat is staffed by both peer specialist and mental health professionals and will not offer medication or formal therapy, but will support and promote self-management. There will also be the capacity for mental health professionals working in The Retreat to escalate to further clinical support if required. For more details visit The Retreat website.
The Retreat in Bournemouth is based at Hahnemann House, Hahnemann Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5JW. Open from 4.30pm-12 midnight every day. It's approximately a 10 minute walk from the BIC - walk up Priory Road and turn right onto West Hill Road, and then left onto Hahnemann Road. Or from the Triangle - walk up St Michaels Road, turn right onto Hahnemann Road and then cross over West Hill Road to re-join Hahnemann Road. The Retreat is in the middle section of the road. See the map for details.
The Retreat in Dorchester is based at 30 Maiden Castle Road, Dorchester, DT1 2ER. Open from 4.30pm-12 midnight every day. It's approximately a 10 minute walk from Dorchester South train station along Weymouth Avenue. The train from Bournemouth to Dorchester takes around 40 minutes. See the map for details.
Want to talk to somebody but not on campus or in Bournemouth?
If you're not on campus at BU there is a range of services available to you, including access to local support services. See the full information on our FAQs page.
5 Steps to Wellbeing
To help support your health and wellbeing here are five steps that promote emotional and physical good health:
- Connect with people around you - Meet new friends through our clubs and societies and social events. The Events Guide in your welcome pack includes a range of activities as well as details of excursions.
- Be active - Our sports facilities are for people of all abilities - you can join the gym, try snowboarding, surfing or go to a yoga class.
- Keep learning - Your BU experience isn’t just about your course. Learn to play the guitar with our music department or a new language with our Languages@BU programme. Visit an art exhibition at the Atrium Gallery.
- Give to others - Participate in Make A Difference (MAD) day or take part in Raising & Giving (RAG) with SUBU or find out about the volunteering opportunities at BU. Taking part in these activities is fun and will make you feel good.
- Take notice - Practise mindfulness and learn to recognise what makes you feel anxious. Our Student Wellbeing team offers sessions to help you develop your resilience and deal with life’s issues. Look out for your flat and classmates’ wellbeing too, as they might not like to say if they’re struggling.