Counselling and mental health support

The Counselling and Wellbeing Service is available to all ARU students and offers a free and confidential service to promote mental health and wellbeing.

You can talk in confidence to a professional counsellor, a mental health adviser or a wellbeing adviser about any personal or university-related issues that are worrying you. This could be anything from minor concerns to major issues including grief, relationship difficulties, panic attacks, exam anxieties, stress and more.

The Counselling and Wellbeing Service also has a Student Sexual Violence Advocacy Service. Student Sexual Violence Advocates (SSVAs) offer practical support and advocacy around reporting processes; this includes reporting sexual misconduct to ARU or reporting to the police. 

Get in touch

Email: [email protected]
Cambridge and Peterborough: 01223 698276
Chelmsford: 01245 684271

Opening hours

Monday to Thursday: 9am–5pm
Friday: 9am–4.30pm


Our counsellors have significant experience, are all professionally qualified and either accredited or working towards accreditation with a recognised professional body. We work within the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) guidelines and the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.

All the counsellors in our team offer a time-limited six session model with an option to return to counselling after a twelve week break. This means students can benefit from our counselling services throughout the duration of their studies. Combining different theoretical backgrounds allows us to offer holistic support and work integratively with you.

Counselling can help you deal with all kinds of issues, for example: grief and loss, trauma, anxiety, feeling depressed and relationship issues. We offer a confidential space to explore whatever is troubling you and can also support you with accessing external specialist support if needed.

In addition to one-to-one support, our counsellors and mental health advisers offer a daily drop in from 11am until 12. To book, please email [email protected]

Mental Health Advisers

Our Mental Health Advisors (MHAs) offer a range of interventions to students experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties, offering support with mental health experiences and symptoms as they arise.

Our mental health advisers are qualified mental health workers with significant experience in both statutory services and higher education. Support may include ongoing risk assessment and liaison with internal and external specialist services. In addition to one-to-one support, our counsellors and mental health advisers offer a daily drop in from 11am until 12. To book, please email [email protected]

Wellbeing Advisers

Our wellbeing advisers offer information, advice and guidance and can support you with accessing our services and other internal University support. They manage incoming self-referrals and queries from students and staff via email, telephone and in person.

Our wellbeing advisers offer a daily drop in from 2pm until 3pm to offer information, advice and guidance. To book, please email [email protected].

Life-coaching for students

Our Coaching Service is offered by trained professionals with accredited qualifications and substantial experience of the higher education sector. They can aid you in the process of making difficult decisions, exploring any blocks that are getting the way you completing tasks, helping you to clarify your goals and take action to move forward in your projects and life. They can help you identify, plan, prepare and subsequently follow through and take action. Your work with a Coach will be collaborative, solutioned-focussed, goal-orientated and task-based with regular reviews and evaluations to help keep you on track.

How will it work?

Coaches offer up to four sessions at any one time (not necessarily weekly and decided collaboratively) after your initial sonsultation. Once you have had this, the Coach will make contact with you to arrange your coaching. Sessions will take up to 50 minutes and each will be followed up by an email summary of what was discussed, and goals/tasks/actions agreed.

Student Sexual Violence Advocates

Our Student Sexual Violence Advocates (SSVA) are trained specialists who offers practical support and advocacy around reporting processes; this includes reporting sexual misconduct to ARU or reporting to the police. SSVAs support students who has been subjected to any form of sexual violence, regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, background, when or where the sexual violence took place. Our SSVAs have extensive experience supporting victims and survivors through the criminal justice process, and are best placed to support you if you want to make a complaint to ARU about any sexual misconduct you have been subjected to if the perpetrator is a member of the ARU community. SSVAs can also offer informed choices appointments, where you can discuss the various reporting options available to you.

Our 30 minute consultation lets you find out what we do, and is a great way for us to get to know you and listen to your concerns.

We offer one-off sessions within ten working days. For ongoing individual counselling (up to six sessions) you’ll be placed on our waiting list and contacted as soon as possible. In the meantime you can access our resources on mental health and wellbeing, and attend our workshops. You can also log into our online therapy resource, Silvercloud.

If you've requested a specific time or day for counselling during our busier times, it may take up to 6 weeks to start being seen on a regular basis.

Fill in the registration form and then follow the onscreen instructions after submitting.

All counsellors work in accordance with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) or the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) ethical framework for good practice in counselling and psychotherapy.

Statement of Service

Confidentiality Statement

Privacy Statement

Counselling Contract

Supporting Evidence (for extenuating circumstances or mitigation)

Complaints Procedure

Personal data statement

We will keep your personal data secure when you use our Service. In circumstances where we may offer the Service to you when you are based outside of the UK, European Union or other country which UK law recognises as offering acceptable privacy rights, then ARU cannot absolutely guarantee the security of your communication with us on local networks. When using online video, voice or messaging services through ARU owned or administered tools, we will operate these in a way that offers the highest security for your data. By using our Service from overseas regions which do not offer equivalent privacy protections as UK law then you accept the risk of sharing your personal data through the means available to the service.

Register and book a consultation

Our 30 minute initial consultation lets you find out what we do, and is a great way for us to get to know you and listen to your concerns.

Register and book a consultation


Other ways you can get support

More support from outside ARU

There are many organisations and mental health services outside ARU who can support you if you are experiencing difficulties .

Find support

Students' Union Advice Service

The Students' Union Advice Service can support you on a number of problems, including mental health, relationship advice, sexual health, domestic abuse and more.

Visit the Student's Union

Report an incident of harassment

Report incidents of bullying, discrimination, harassment, hate crimes, sexual violence and domestic abuse.

Report an incident