Your wellbeing

Something on your mind? Need to talk things through with someone? Your Wellbeing Team are here to help.

Wellbeing offer a confidential and non-judgmental ear if you want to talk to about any anything that is bothering you, or you want to get advice on a particular issue. This can be anything from concerns about managing your workload or issues with housemates through to bereavements or mental health concerns; no problem is too big or too small.

Wellbeing hold regular virtual appointments during term time and are also available by email if you don’t want to talk face to face.

Appointment times

You can arrange a virtual appointment to see a member of the College Wellbeing Team at the times indicated below. 

Appointment times
 Monday    14.00-16.00  
 Tuesday  10.00-12.00  14.00-16.00  16.00-18.00
 Wednesday  10.00-12.00  14.00-16.00  
 Thursday  10.00-12.00  14.00-16.00  16.00-18.00
 Friday  10.00-12.00    

Contact information

All of our contact information is on our Canvas page however you can email your relevant school's Wellbeing team below:

Birmingham Business School

School of Education

School of Government

School of Social Policy 

How can we help?

CoSS Wellbeing Weekly

We’re living through strange and uncertain times, and it can feel hard to reach out when you need support. As your College Wellbeing Team, we want to make it easy for you to access support when you need it. We know that speaking to us by email is not the same as speaking to us in person. That’s why we’re launching a range of initiatives that we hope will bring you some familiarity and reassurance at a time when we we’re not able to offer our usual level of service. Here you’ll find our weekly blog, bi-weekly podcast, and a whole range of advice and experience so that we can still be there for you when life doesn’t quite go as planned.

Your wellbeing blog

Bereavement Support

We interview Beth Hopkins, Bereavement Counsellor for Birmingham St Marys Hospice who is leading a new service to support grieving adults during the Covid19 Pandemic.

Adjusting to working from home - part two

pile-of-tarts-in-a-kitchen

The second part of a post from Wellbeing Officer Warren Evans, offering advice and guidance based on his own experience of working form home so far.

Create your way to better wellbeing

woman-on-ipad-and-laptop

Research is increasingly proving that by spending a short amount of time a day doing something creative we can boost our wellbeing.

Celebrating Pride

The Wellbeing Team have provided some information below about how to celebrate Pride whilst social distancing and where support can be accessed.

The CoSS 'Give it a Rest' wellbeing podcast

Episode 1: Coronavirus and your wellbeing

CoSS Deputy Wellbeing Manager Vickie Glynn is joined by Wellbeing Officers to talk about the impact of the COVID19 pandemic, what this means for students and offer tips to help adjust to studying or working from home.

Extensions and extenuating circumstances

Extensions

Wellbeing are also the people to contact if you need an extension to your assessed work, and you can request extensions by completing the online form on the College Canvas page.

Make sure you also familiarise yourself with the College guidelines on extensions (available on the Canvas page above), and what the grounds for making a request are. If you are unsure if your situation meets the criteria, please contact your Wellbeing Officers.

Extenuating Circumstances

The University also has an Extenuating Circumstances (EC) Policy designed to support you in situations where you need to make a retrospective request for something to happen with your assessed work, or need more flexibility than extensions can offer. You may have missed assignment submissions without requesting an extension, received late penalties or be unable to sit an exam due to personal circumstances.  

You should make sure you read the University guidance on Extenuating Circumstances.

If you feel you might want to submit ECs or aren’t sure if your situation meets the criteria for applications we would strongly suggest that you have a chat with your Wellbeing Officer via email or arrange an appointment.

Health and wellbeing

Mental Health and Disability Support

If you are experiencing issues with your mental health you can talk to us about how we, and the University, can support you. The University also offers a central Wellbeing Service who will be able to offer you support in addition to your Wellbeing Officers. 

If you have a disability, long-term mental or physical health condition or a specific learning difficulty University of Birmingham also has specialist support services, and we would strongly recommend you register with them to ensure that you receive all the reasonable adjustments you are entitled to. 

You should do so even if you only feel you need support for exams, there are set processes you need to follow to get exam support in place.

Self Service Resources

We understand that sometimes you might not be ready to talk to us and might want to explore some support resources on your own. The University has self-help guides on a range of different topics available in digital format.

Seeing a GP

Even if you don’t think you’ll need to see a doctor, you don’t know what might happen during the year so you should register with a local doctor. It is far easier to do this when you are well than when you are ill and need to see them! It is also important to register with a doctor because if you require Wellbeing support for a health related issue during your studies you may be asked for a doctors letter or certificate.

You can find a doctor to register with via the NHS website.

Once you have found a local doctor you should contact them directly, they will explain the process for registering with them and any documents you need to complete.

Sexual Assault

Whilst we would always encourage you to speak to us in Wellbeing if you experience a sexual assault, we understand that you might not be ready to talk about it with us, and simply want some advice on your options.

Birmingham takes any kind of sexual assault seriously, and there are dedicated web pages to support you. You can also access specialist support, which is confidential and entirely separate from Wellbeing, through these pages.

Housing

If you’re having issues with your housemates, or have concerns about them and want advice Wellbeing are usually a good place to come for a chat. However there are some aspects of housing, such as issues with repairs or contracts, which we can’t advise on.

If you run into problems with University accommodation, or partner accommodation, you should visit our student accommodation web pages.

If you are in private rented accommodation Living (Ground Floor of Uni Centre) can give advice. Guild Advice (Housing) are also really useful people to contact.

Money, Finances and Employment

Managing money and finances is a big part of student life, and sometimes things might go wrong. If you have issues with student finance or tuition fees here are some people who are likely to be able to do more to help you than Wellbeing can!

The Student Hub can be found in the Aston Webb Building, and are great for giving advice on a whole range of money related queries. 

Student Support also have some online resources, including general money advice and information about Student Support Fund, which can help you if you are having difficulties with your finances.

The Student Fees Office are the best people to contact with any queries/issues around payment of your tuition fees.

If you have money worries or are thinking about working whilst you study to earn a bit of extra cash there are a number of resources available via the Guild to help. Guild Advice are a good source of support and advice with any money worries.

You might want to look for a part time job whilst you study. If so you can log into the UoB site and search for jobs using Jobzone. There are also a range of roles available on campus through Worklink.

We also have a dedicated Careers service for CoSS students to help you start planning your future career and provide advice on how to get there.

Additional Sources of Mental Health Support

We would always encourage you to come to Wellbeing to talk about any mental health issues you are experiencing. We can also give advice if you are worried about the mental health of someone else. However, we aren’t available to chat 24/7 and we understand you might want to sometimes talk to someone outside the university so here are some useful resources if you do need to talk when we’re not around.

Nightline is a free, confidential listening service, staffed by students for students. Nightline operates between 6pm and 8am during term time, and also have a text and email service. Their phone number is on your ID card and the text and email details are on my.Bham.

You can also call the Samaritans on 116 123 as an alternative to Nightline.

PAUSE is an excellent drop in centre in Birmingham City Centre. Its located approximately 1 minute walk from the Bullring on Digbeth High St. You can simply turn up during their opening hours and have a chat with one of the team.

If you have immediate concerns about the safety of yourself, or someone else, you should dial 999, or go to your nearest A&E.

International students

International Students Team are the people to go to if you have any questions about your visa, or need any advice on your eligibility to travel overseas or whether you are able to work whilst you are studying. Wellbeing are not able to provide any advice or information about any issues relating to visas.

You might have concerns about your language skills, and need some support with studying and completing academic work in English. The Birmingham International Academy can help you.

Being an International Student can be challenging, and the university has a Global Buddies scheme to help you to settle into life at Birmingham and also meet others who are in the same position.

Other support

Study Skills

The jump from school to university can be tough, and you’ll find you are being expected to work in a very new way. You may not be used to having so much flexibility to manage your own time or feel confident about studying independently. It might also be that you’re an experienced third year but are daunted by the thought of completing the independent research and writing that is your dissertation.

The Academic Skills Centre (based on the 1st floor of the library) can help with any worries relating to study skills, and will help you to develop and improve. They offer support on loads of different aspects of studying, including essay writing, references and maths skills. You can decide how to engage, either online, by attending a workshop or drop in, or requesting one-to-one help. 

If you are an International student who has additional worries about studying in English the Birmingham International Academy can help.

Loneliness and Homesickness

Moving away to University can be a really tough time, and there may be points when you feel lonely, miss home or are struggling to find friends on your wavelength.

Joining a club or society is an excellent way to meet people outside of your course or your accommodation who share your interests. The Guild of Students website allows you to search what societies and clubs are on offer, ideal if you missed them during Welcome Week or are looking to start a new term by trying something new.

The Global Buddies scheme is specifically aimed at helping International students adapt to life here at Birmingham, and they run monthly meet ups.

You can also speak to your Student Experience Officers about activities offered in your School.

If you want to talk to someone about how you are feeling and we aren’t around then both Nightline and the Chaplaincy can provide an ear. You don’t have to be religious to visit the Chaplaincy and have a chat with them, they are open to people of all backgrounds, faiths and beliefs.

Clubs and Societies

Getting involved with societies or volunteering is a great way to meet people who have similar interests to you, and to meet people outside of your course, halls or friendship group. Not only this, but it looks great on your CV and provides valuable downtime away from studying. If you missed the Societies Fair at Welcome Week, or fancy trying something new the Guild of Students website will help you explore what’s on offer.