Welfare at Cambridge

Moving to university can be difficult and stressful, particularly if you have existing mental or physical health conditions. But you're certainly not on your own and support is available.

Overview

Though extensive, pastoral care at Oxbridge can be at times confusing. The decision to seek help from your college, the university itself, or from independent bodies, can be overwhelming. This page provides a (by no means extensive) list of resources available to disabled students and potential applicants.

Student Advice Service

Navigating the antiquated and labyrinthine pastoral systems of Cambridge can seem overwhelming, so the Student Advice Service ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ is something of a godsend. While their page offers FAQs on common issues such as welfare and accommodation, they also offer individual consultations and advice. Under their โ€˜Out of Hours Supportโ€™, SUAS also lists the contact information of several other charities and advice bureaus.

Disability Resource Centre

If you need adjustments for your exams, or just in general, the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) ๐Ÿ”— is the place to start. The official channel for disabled students in Cambridge, the DRC provides advice on funding for disabled students and potential applicants. You can book a consultation appointment with their advisers Monday-Friday to discuss necessary adjustments or concerns you have. The site also provides resources for disabled students.

University Counselling Service

Though oversubscribed, the University Counselling Service ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ provides individual and group session to those in need. The waiting list varies thoughout the year, but exam term often sees the most demand for these services.

Intermission

A Facebook group ๐Ÿ”— has been created to provide advice and emotional support to those undertaking intermission (a break from their studies for reasons of health or other difficulties). While the intermission process varies greatly from college to college, this group can at least provide some comfort from people in a similar situation.

College-level support

JCR Welfare Officer: most, if not all, collegeโ€™s will have a Welfare Officer: a volunteer student or two who hosts events to promote wellbeing in the college. They are a good point of call for non-serious emotional support and consultation. Often, they will be able to advise you where to seek further guidance.

JCR Disability Officer: another member of the committee with a specific focus on supporting students with disabilities. Like the Welfare Officer, the Disability Officer will be able to provide guidance on quandaries and direct you to other student bodies for more serious matters.

Tutor: each undergraduate student will be assigned a Tutor, a member of staff, not from your chosen subject area, who will advise you in all matters pastoral. They can provide guidance on financial, emotional and health-related concerns. Generally, they will mediate between yourself and the college.

Senior Tutor: as the title implies, the most senior tutor at your college. If your tutor is unable to help with your situation, the senior tutor will often be the next port of call.

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