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Student Support - Overview
Student Support

No matter how big or small the problem, we're here to help

Wellbeing and Counselling

Leaving home for the first time is a big lifestyle change. You'll face problems and issues you've never experienced before. Don't worry. Whatever it is, no matter how small, don't keep it to yourself. Talk to us. We're here to listen and to help.


Our Wellbeing Service is here to promote the wellbeing of all students and to provide particular support to those with mental health difficulties.

If you are concerned about your own health, or the health of a fellow student, you can discuss your worries confidentially.

Wellbeing Drop-In Support
There is a Wellbeing drop-in support that runs Monday-Friday between 10.00-16.00 (term time only) which is based in Student Services. No appointment needed. Due to COVID-19 the wellbeing service is currently operating remotely online and on the phone.

Who can access support for the Wellbeing Service?
Any of our students can contact the Wellbeing Service to discuss any concerns or worries, particularly if you have mental health difficulties, addiction or eating disorders, or feel that you are struggling to remain on your course due to personal issues.

Practical Advice and Support
Wellbeing support is not the same as counselling; it focuses on identifying practical strategies for managing any difficulties you may be experiencing. This may involve help with time management and motivation, coping strategies for managing your studies, or guidance on benefits and accessing community services.

You can contact the Wellbeing Service on:
Telephone: +44 1202 363780


Who we are and what we do

If you feel you need help and support beyond that offered by tutors, friends or family, counselling could help. Talking to a counsellor in a safe, non-judgemental and confidential setting can enable you to work through your problems with the aim of reaching a solution. Counselling is also an excellent tool for your own personal development.

The Counselling Service is student focused and we offer single therapeutic sessions for one hour booked on a session by session basis. The service adheres to the key theoretical principles of the person centred approach as its foundation; putting you, the student in the centre of the counselling relationship. Counsellors will be genuine and non-judgemental, use advanced skills in listening and empathy and will be fully accepting of the student and whatever issues they bring to the counselling session. Counsellors may also integrate additional skills and tools from other theoretical counselling approaches such as Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to enable better therapeutic outcomes. We can also arrange referrals to specialist external counselling agencies where appropriate.

The AUB Counselling Service maintains a professional accreditation awarded by the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and fully adheres to it’s Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. We have a team of professionally qualified and experienced male and female counsellors and we offer two supervised placements for trainee counsellors in their final year before qualification.

Please see the BACP ethical framework for the Counselling Professions here.

Counselling is a confidential process and only in exceptional circumstances would this confidentiality be broken and direct action is taken – usually, if there is an immediate risk to your own safety or that of others.

Student confidentiality is preserved in respect of the service and not to the counsellor. This means that within the counselling service, some limited information such as session notes or your contact details may be viewed by another counsellor if you choose to see a different counsellor each time you use the service.

It also allows us to maintain a student focused service and enables easier communication when booking or cancelling appointments.

The full details of confidentiality can be found in the Counselling Service Policy and Confidentiality Statement which is available to view or download on the AUB Viewpoint page under Student Services/Counselling.

To learn more about the service you can contact us by emailing:

If you’d like to book a counselling session you can call 01202 363780 or come into Student Services and the Student Advice team will find the next convenient appointment for you.

Counselling sessions are available to book from 09.00 and the last appointment is 16.00. The Counselling Service is also open out of term time and across the summer months.

External Services and Support

We understand that if you're experiencing particular challenges, you may want to talk to someone but might not be ready to meet with one of our team. There are lots of organisations and charities available that can offer you a range of options to make sure that you can still find the help you want.

24/7 Dorsethealthcare helpline for anyone experiencing a crisis with their mental health. You can contact them on 0300 123 5440.

The Retreat (Dorset Mental Health Forum)
The Retreat is a safe and welcoming environment for anyone over 18 years of age, based in Dorset and who have self-identified their crisis and want to access support. You can find them at Hahnemann House, Hahnemann Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5JW open daily (16:30-00:00). You can drop in – no appointment needed.

Out-of-hours Immediate Support
If you’re feeling very distressed or having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, you can access help and support here. If you’re worried about a friend, you can find guidance here. There’s also a 24-hour free text messenger service offered by the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust.

The national suicide prevention charity to offer support and guidance if you or someone you know is struggling to cope. You can call them on 0800 0684141.

Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. You can text them on 85258.

The Counselling Directory
The Counselling Directory is a great resource to find counsellors near you. Don’t forget that that counselling at AUB is free for students – you may have to pay privately to see a registered therapist on this list.

Students Against Depression
The Students Against Depression is a website by students, for students. They offer guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking.

The Samaritans
To speak to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week on 08457 909090 or 116 123 (free from mobiles and landlines). You can also email

Relate (The Relationship People)
Relate are the UK’s largest provider of relationship support. Find out more, or call them 01202 311231.

Cruse (Bereavement and Loss)
Cruse can offer support, advice and information on coping with a bereavement. Get in touch on 01202 302000.

Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous can be contacted on their free helpline 0800 9177 650 or you can live chat with a volunteer through their chatbox.

Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous can help support you with local or online meetings. Their support line is open 10:00-22:00 on 0300 999 1212.

British Pregnancy Advisory Service
The local branch is Dean Park Clinic, 23-25 Ophir Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8LS. They’re open Tuesday (08:00-18:00), Wednesday (08:00-20:00) and Thursday (08:00-18:00). Call them on 03457 304030.

The Shores
The Shores are the dedicated Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for Dorset, providing a comprehensive service to men, women and children who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

Stars (formerly Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre) is a voluntary organisation run for men, women and young people over 16 who have been raped or sexually abused. They offer support through the criminal justice process and also provide counselling support.

Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association
Somerset and Wessex eating disorders association have useful message boards and helplines. Find out more on their website or call them on 01458 448600.

Number 18 Poole
A young people’s drop-in centre based in Poole town centre for advice on housing, health, money most specific issues affecting people aged 11-25. Number 18 (previously The Quay Advice Centre) can be contacted on 01202 262291.

Over the Rainbow Bournemouth
A drop-in centre for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community. Now based at The Shores with a clinic open on Wednesdays 12:00-19:00. To book appointments call 07788415522.

Dorset Sexual Health
To contact Dorset Sexual Health call 0300 303 1948.

Explore more

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We believe people learn best in a vibrant, caring environment, and we want to help you thrive while you’re here
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Disabled Students

We’re geared up to ensure you reach your full potential, providing practical support, guidance and information about extra allowances
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Medical Care

We work in partnership with the local Village Surgery to provide a dedicated medical surgery each week
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Academic Support

The Study Skills and EAP team can offer support with academic work, personal organisation and study skills