Health and Welfare
In this section
Staying well as a student is not just about keeping physically healthy but also about maintaining good mental health. Everybody gets stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed sometimes and there are a variety of sources of support available at Oxford from the GCR, the College and the University. We are all here to help you and we welcome the opportunity to talk with you, however big or small you feel your problem may be.
Medical services in the UK
The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state health service, and provides a full range of medical treatment. The UK Council for International Student Affairs gives a good summary of the services provided by the NHS and which service should be used for which type of illness.
Students coming to the UK for the first time are likely to notice a number of differences from the healthcare system in their home country. For example, in the UK a General Practitioner (known as GPs, medical doctors based in a community health centre/surgery) would be the first port of call for most health complaints rather than a specialist at a hospital. Another difference is that, for students whose course lasts more than six months1, much of the healthcare provided by the NHS is free at the point of delivery.
Summertown Health Centre and College Doctor and Nurse
The College has an agreement with nearby Summertown Health Centre, and a nurse from the Health Centre visit the College regularly during term time.
Students should register for Summertown Health Centre online before they arrive at College. Students with existing conditions should also contact Summertown Health Centre for an appointment when they arrive in Oxford.
The College Nurse is available without appointment during term time (weeks 0-9 inclusive). Her clinic hours are 12:15 – 14:45 Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and take place in the basement of the Hilda Besse Building. You can book an appointment with her here.
The College Doctor is Dr Dave Triffit at Summertown Health Centre and appointments with him can be booked here.
At other times, appointments can be made to see a doctor or nurse at the Summertown Health Centre, a 15 minute walk from St Antony’s.
Emergency medical care
See this guide to health services in Oxford for details of medical services available.
In an emergency situation, call 999 to access ambulance, police or fire services. The 999 line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
999 should always be called if, for example, someone is seriously ill/injured or a crime is in progress. Once a caller is connected to a 999 operator or call handler, they will be asked a series of questions to establish what is wrong. This will allow the operator to determine the most appropriate response as quickly as possible.
Students in College should notify the Lodge about any emergency situation. Call 84700 from an internal phone or +44 (0)1865 284700.
The NHS 111 service should be used if medical help or advice is needed but the situation is not life threatening. The 111 phone line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
Call 111 if:
- medical help is needed fast but there is no 999 emergency
- you think you need to go to an Accident & Emergency Department or need another NHS urgent care service
- you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a doctor (GP) to call
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next
See also the NHS website for guidance.
If you need to contact the local police in a non-emergency, phone 101. The 101 phone line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
You should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response. For example, if:
- Your property has been damaged
- You suspect drug use or dealing in your community
- Report a minor traffic collision
- Give the police information about crime in your area
- Speak to the police about a general enquiry
See the UK Police website for further guidance.
Dental treatment is available through the NHS but a contribution towards the cost of treatment is required. St Antony’s students usually register with Studental based at Oxford Brookes University, or Temple Street Dental Practice between Cowley and Iffley Roads. Both are NHS practices. Registration and appointments are handled directly with the dentist, online or in person.
Staying well as a student is not just about keeping physically healthy but also about maintaining good mental health. Everybody gets stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed sometimes, and there are many sources of support available from the College and the university.
The Dean is responsible for all the non-academic affairs of students and is the lead point of contact for student welfare issues. The Dean manages the Junior Deans, and works closely with them and other members of the welfare team to coordinate the College’s pastoral care provision.
University Counselling Service
The University Counselling Service offers a professional and confidential service to students. Their website also features self-help resources that cover common issues such as overcoming procrastination and coping with depression.
College Advisor / Senior Tutor
Within the College, students are able to meet with their College Advisor or the Senior Tutor to discuss concerns. They in turn may be able to suggest other sources of support.
GCR welfare support
The GCR VP Welfare oversees a team that can help with issues relating to disability, childcare, equal opportunities, accommodation, financial hardship, and the physical and psychological health of the student body.
The St Antony’s Peer Supporters are available informally to speak about any concern, e.g. stress, personal difficulties or worries. All Peer Supporters have been trained to listen effectively, communicate sensitively, respect boundaries and above all, maintain confidentiality.
Peer Supporters also run the Cookie Fairy scheme, whereby cookies are delivered fortnightly to those who are nominated by their fellow Antonians as needing a pick-me-up. If you would like to send a cookie to someone, send their name to firstname.lastname@example.org and their name will be added to the Cookie Fairy’s list. Like the Peer Supporters, the Cookie Fairy maintains a code of confidentiality.
Keep an eye on your pidges!
All St Antony’s College students are assigned a College Advisor, who is a Governing Body Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, Senior Common Room member or Emeritus Fellow of the College.
Your College Advisor can:
- provide pastoral support, including on any health, personal or coping issues, and/or direct you to appropriate persons for assistance;
- monitor your progress, by discussing your University supervision reports and by being available for consultation, either in person or by email;
- discuss with you any problems or difficulties you may be experiencing in your Department or Faculty, and/or with your supervisor;
- consult the Senior Tutor if there are concerns about your academic progress and if you appear to be experiencing difficulties with your academic work;
- offer guidance on sources of support available within the College and University.
In addition, your College Advisor may be able to offer you advice on academic-related matters such as applications for research funding, conferences and seminar attendance, publication and career plans (College Advisors would not normally be expected to provide academic references, as others are better placed to do so. They might provide a reference for other purposes or a character reference.)
Your College Advisor is not expected to perform the role of your Department or Faculty Supervisor(s) and is not directing your academic work or giving detailed academic guidance. At St Antony’s College, your College Advisor will be a member of a different Department/Faculty to the one you are enrolled in.
You are encouraged to contact your College Advisor as and when you need advice or help. (You should also feel free to consult other College officers as necessary; see below).
Details of your College Advisor will be emailed to you at the start of each term. Your College Advisor may be changed during periods of sabbatical or other academic leave. If you have a reason to seek a change of Advisor, you should contact the Senior Tutor.
If you have any questions, would like further information or have any problems liaising with your College Advisor, please contact the Academic Office at email@example.com
In addition, all students are expected to meet with the Warden once a year to discuss progress and raise any issues they may have. These meetings are called the Warden’s Graduate Consultations. The Warden’s Personal Assistant emails students with the dates of these meetings.
Students with disabilities
The University supports over 1,300 students who have declared a disability, including specific learning difficulties (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia), long-term health conditions, mental health difficulties, mobility difficulties, sensory impairments and autism spectrum disorders.
Students are strongly encouraged to notify the Disability Advisory Service (DAS) as soon as possible if they have (or think they might have) a disability for advice about the range of study support available, and so that appropriate support arrangements can be made.
A guide to accessing disability support can be downloaded from the DAS website. Students can also contact the team to speak to a Disability Advisor who will be happy to answer any questions they might have via: email, phone (+44 (0)1865 280459), or in person at 3 Worcester Street, Oxford, OX1 2BX
Within St Antony’s, the Disability Lead is the Head of Academic Office and the Disability Co-ordinator is the Deputy Head of Academic Office. Please contact the Deputy Head of Academic Office with any queries.
The University has a professionally staffed confidential Student Counselling Service for assistance with personal, emotional, social and academic problems. The Service is available free to all matriculated students. It can take a while to get an appointment; if you have an urgent need to speak with a counsellor, please contact the Head of the Academic Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Counselling Service website has excellent resources for students experiencing difficulties as well as for those supporting other students.
Website: University Counselling Service
Telephone: 01865 270300
Address: 3 Worcester Street, Oxford, OX1 2BX
Opening hours: During term (Weeks 0-9) reception is open 09:00-17:00, Monday-Friday. For pre-arranged appointments the Service remains open until 20:00, Monday-Thursday.
St Antony’s is committed to equal opportunities and to providing an environment in which all senior members, employees, contractors and students are treated with dignity and respect, and in which they can work and study free from any type of discrimination, harassment, or victimisation. If you feel that you have been/are being harassed or bullied and that this has arisen solely in the College environment or by another member of the College, please start by reading the College’s Code of Practice on Harassment, available here. You can find information about contacting University Harassment Advisors here.
If the harassment has arisen outside the College or is by a member of a different College/Department, please refer to the University policy and procedure on harassment.
If a criminal offence has been committed, the College/University Harassment procedures may not be appropriate. These cases will include, but not be limited to, serious assault or threat of serious assault. Further guidance on dealing with cases of sexual assault or sexual violence is available from the University.
Oxford University Student Union (OUSU)
OUSU offers a range of services to students, including a Student Advice Service to help provide guidance on the many different support services available to you.
Details: OUSU website
Nightline is a completely independent listening, support and information service run for and by students at Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University. Nightline aims to provide every student in Oxford with the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence. Nightline operates every night between 8pm and 8am from 0th-9th week.
Phone: +44 (0)1865 270270
Samaritans provides 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.
Phone: National number – 08457 909090 or Oxford branch – 01865 722122
Address: Oxford Samaritans, 60 Magdalen Road, Oxford, OX4 1RB (usually open 8am-10pm)
Oxford Student Mental Health Network
Oxford Student Mental Health Network provides training and workshops and offers an excellent set of links to online resources from its website to support students and those who work with students. The website’s Your Mental Health section has some good links to other organisations.
Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. They say: ‘we believe that peer interventions can change the state of student mental health. We deliver research-driven training and support to equip students to bring about positive change on their campuses through campaigning and facilitating peer support programmes.’
Website: Student Minds