Time to Talk?

Image with a speech bubble which says do you want to talk about it?

University life is exciting, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Balancing academic studies, work commitments, and a personal life can leave you feeling stretched thin, and it can affect your mental health and overall wellbeing. We understand.

Talking about how you feel or asking for help may seem daunting at times. But, here's the thing: bottling up your emotions can lead to stress, anxiety and even depression. 

Letting others in on how you're feeling can actually help release some of that pressure inside. It's not about being weak or failing; being open and honest shows a sign of strength and bravery. 

Whether you're stressed about upcoming exams or dealing with personal issues, we're here to lend an ear and offer support. We have free and confidential services for all UoB students, like our trained and friendly Wellbeing Officers in every College, and our 24/7 support line UBHeard

We can help you find the best way to cope. Whatever you're going through, big or small, check out our full range of Mental Health and Wellbeing support below. 

I’d like to... 

…talk to someone through the University

Talking to someone about what your problems – big or small – can make a real difference to how you feel.

Our 24/7 confidential listening and support service UBHeard is available to all registered students (undergraduate and postgraduate) at the University.

Whatever you’re going through, we can offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like by logging in to the UBHeard Portal, through Live Chat, or calling on 0800 368 5819 (Freephone UK*) or 00353 1 518 0277 (International). You can also text ‘Hi’ to 074 1836 0780 for SMS and WhatsApp support (standard rates apply). 

Find out more about UBHeard.

Time to Talk?: Introducing UBHeard

You can also:

  • Drop in to one of our Pause@UoB sessions between 11AM and 5PM every Wednesday and Thursday at The Lodge, North Gate. Pause offers a place for students up to the age of 25 to talk about feelings and real life. Their friendly team of trained and experienced workers can share support and advice if needed. No appointment is needed.   
  • Talk to the Guild's Student Mentors for advice on accommodation and life at University. They are a team of current UoB students, so they know what living in halls is really like. They can also support you if you're feeling homesick, need advice on looking after your personal health and safety as well as guidance on academic and financial queries. 
  • Reach out to Guild Advice - a free, impartial and confidential advice service for all UoB students. Like the Citizens Advice Bureau, the team can give practical advice on all kinds of subjects relating to student life but specialising in the following areas: Academic, Housing, Wellbeing and International Support.

...speak to a Wellbeing Officer

Booking an appointment to speak to someone is a great first step to receiving support and advice.

Each School has their own Wellbeing Officer(s), who can provide you with the practical and emotional support you need if you’re experiencing personal problems whilst at University.

You can also receive ongoing counselling sessions for mild to moderate issues through UBHeard

For ongoing therapeutic support, you can register with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team, who are staffed by experienced therapeutic practitioners who can help you explore any difficulties you may be facing, and work with you to develop effective strategies to overcome them.

Time to Talk?: Meet Your Wellbeing Officers

…get immediate help

Are you struggling and need urgent support?

There’s always someone who can help you.

  • If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis and believe you cannot keep yourself safe, you can attend your local A&E for immediate crisis support or call 999. The nearest A&E to the University is at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
  • Alternatively, find your local NHS Urgent Mental Health helpline which can offer 24-hour advice, support, and assessment for you.

You can also:

  • Contact your local GP (doctor) and ask them for an emergency appointment. Please note if they’re not open, they should have an out-of-hours telephone number you can contact. If you haven’t registered for a GP yet, you can find out how to through our 'Registering with a Doctor’ page on the Student Intranet.
  • Visit your local walk-in clinic – the nearest one to the University is Katie Road, Selly Oak.
  • Get in touch with external services like Samaritans, who are there to listen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or Mind, available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, for any mental health support you might need.

Visit our Urgent Mental Health Support page to find out how you can access immediate in-the-moment support at the University. 

…report a crime

If you’re a victim of a crime, it’s important to know that you’re not to blame.

What happened to you was not your fault, you’re not alone, and what you do next is your choice. We’re here to give you the support and advice you need.

You can use our online reporting tool to contact a trained sexual violence liaison officer (SVLO) or one of our trained first responders. These are all members of staff who have received dedicated training to support victims and survivors of sexual harassment, in confidence. To access our resources, make an online report of an incident and to access our support, visit our ‘You Report, We Support’ page on the Student Intranet.

You can reach out to our Community Safety Team, right here on campus (in the Community Safety Hub in the North Lodge). They treat each case reported to them extremely seriously and can help you in reporting it to the Police. If you need to discuss a challenging or delicate matter, they offer several private rooms within the Hub for your convenience.

We also have active support measures on campus – and beyond – to guarantee your safety. Learn more on our ‘Staying Safe’ page on the Student Intranet.

...find a space to think and reflect

Sometimes you just need some space to think and reflect about things – and that’s okay.

Based at St Francis Hall, next to the Guild of Students, the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy offers an inclusive space for prayer, meditation, and relaxation at the University. The Chaplaincy is a safe space for all students to take time out to think, reflect or pray, among many other activities. Everyone is welcome; all faiths and none.

You can also drop-in to Pause@UoB, a place for students aged up to 25, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am until 5pm at The Lodge (by the North Gate) to talk about anything that may be worrying you, or receive support and advice.

...learn more about Mental Health and Wellbeing

It’s important to know what Mental Health and Wellbeing support is available to you during your time here.

You can access a wealth of resources designed to help you take care of yourself whilst at UoB.

Time to Talk?: Wellbeing Services & Busting Myths Around Mental Health

From self-help guides written by clinical psychologists to handy apps you can download, our self-help tools are there for you to access as and when you need to help you with everything from advice around eating well, sleep, alcohol and drug awareness, stress, and much more. You can also access useful resources on the UBHeard Portal.

...make healthy changes to my lifestyle

Changing an unhealthy habit can be hard, but there’s no need to struggle on your own. We’re here to help.

Addiction Recovery

University can be an exciting time but being away from a normal routine can sometimes lead to developing habits and behaviours that, over time, can start to have a more negative impact on your life. From substances like alcohol or drugs, or behaviours like gambling, online shopping, gaming, screen time, or porn addiction, you can get the help you need at UoB.

Better Than Well is a student-led addiction recovery programme, designed support students who are in recovery from any form of addiction while they study at the University of Birmingham. 

Postgraduate student “Bea” shares their personal experience of reaching out to Better Than Well. Read their blog

Managing anxiety

University can also be a stressful experience for some. You may have anxiety about expectations, exams and assessments on the horizon, or thinking about the future. For some people, anxiety is manageable, and there are plenty of ways you can manage or reduce it. Read our tips for managing your anxiety whilst at University.

Looking after your physical health with Sport & Fitness

We're all aware that getting up and moving around can do wonders for our mood and overall well-being. There are plenty of ways to keep active during your time at Birmingham.

No matter your fitness level or interests, UoB’s Sports & Fitness has got you covered. With over 56 different sports to explore and a wide range of fitness activities, from American Football to Ultimate Frisbee, there's something for everyone. It's not just about breaking a sweat; it's about finding something you love that helps you unwind and destress. Find out more by visiting the Sports & Fitness website.

Get your steps in

Getting some fresh air and exercise between study sessions or lectures isn't just good for your body—it's great for your mind too. Even just a quick 10-minute power walk can work wonders for boosting your mood and keeping you feeling refreshed.

That’s why we’ve put together a bunch of walking routes around our student accommodation sites and the local Selly Oak area. Check out our guide to walking routes near campus for all the details.

And if you’re looking for a longer walk, why not give our very own Campus Mile a try? With its mix of famous landmarks and beautiful green spaces, there's plenty to see and explore during your walks. It's a great way to break up those study sessions, take a break and make the most of your time on campus.

Hear from other students

Students have really benefitted from accessing our Mental Health and Wellbeing services at UoB. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Using the Mental Health and Wellbeing service has really been transformational to me. Having such a short waitlist before my first session, has just allowed me to take control and ownership of my mental health. It really has allowed me to thrive.”

“The service was amazing – really attentive and made me feel like my problems were valid. I was also offered a lot of useful advice on how to move forward and what services are available to me.”

“Although we all have different addictions, I don’t feel alone and know there are friends available on campus to help me if I need it.”

 Student Stories

  • Gracie explains that it's okay not to feel okay, especially if you're dealing with loneliness and mental health challenges. She shares how she sought support whilst at University. Read Gracie's blog.
  • Struggling with change? Student Lorna tells us about her experience with adjusting to life at University, and how she refuses to be defined by her depression. Read Lorna's story.
  • Sharon, a Master's student from Ghana, opens up about her mental health journey and reaching out for help from the support services at UoB. Read about Sharon's journey.
  • Need some self-care tips? Student Content Shaper Lucy shares her routine for maintaining a positive mindset after a long day at Uni. Read Lucy's blog.
  • Men's mental health is just as important. Student Content Shaper Alex shares why it's important to speak up, and the different ways you can take care of your mental health at UoB. Read Alex's blog.
  • University life not what you expected? Holly, a third-year student, reflects on her first year and how seeking support transformed her experience at UoB. Read about Holly's experience.


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