This article provides information about support services for students who may be having family-related difficulties.
Whether with the family of origin or with a current partner or family, many students find that new or ongoing family difficulties can impact on their studies and student experience. There is support available for students in this position, and it is a good idea to make use of the support available in order to ensure that your studies aren’t unduly affected.
It is always advisable to let your personal tutor or course leader know if you are having difficulties affecting your studies - they are there to help, and can offer useful advice and support. It is also advisable to consult your GP if you are feeling persistently low, or if your difficulties are significantly affecting your daily functioning.
Further ideas for support and helpful resources include:
Student Wellbeing Service
The Student Wellbeing Service offers confidential help with a wide range of personal and emotional concerns and is available to every student at the University, free of charge. All kinds of students find their way to us from all over the University and for all sorts of reasons, and we are regularly approached by students needing support with family-related difficulties.
The service has three strands: wellbeing advice, counselling, and mental health advice. They are all linked together so when you apply you only have to approach us once – we will sort out which one is most likely to meet your needs.
To contact us or register for support see our article on accessing support from the Student Wellbeing Service.
Courses and workshops
The Student Wellbeing Service hosts a range of events, courses and workshops programme for learning skills to tackle common issues like stress, anxiety and low mood. Consult our course and workshop programme to see if any of them seem relevant to your concerns. For example, our popular 'From Stress to Success' course or workshops such as 'Mood Boost' and ‘Introduction to compassionate mind’ may help you learn skills to address stress, anxiety or low mood caused by family-related difficulties.
All students also have free access to a set of short online courses, called SilverCloud, to learn evidence-based strategies for tackling the common issues of stress, anxiety, depression and poor body image. These courses can be accessed confidentially and completed independently, in your own time and at your own pace. Find out more and register directly from the online resources article.
If you would like to research more around the topic of family issues, the Student Wellbeing Service can recommend the following self help resources:
MIND leaflet that considers what it means to be a family, identifies some of the causes of stress within families, and explains how these can be improved.
Useful online information and advice about family relationships. Includes articles, videos and podcasts, a blog, the option for parents to chat with each other via the forum, and live online chat with a Relate counsellor.
Relationship counselling service. Portsmouth branch includes individual and couples work, family counselling, sex therapy. Telephone and online (email) counselling is also available.
Charity that provides a free, confidential telephone and email helpline to anyone (child or adult) affected by parental alcohol problems and to those concerned with their welfare; website contains information leaflets and links to additional resources.
Family group support for anyone whose life has been affected by someone else's drinking, where members can share their own experience of living with alcoholism. Local Portsmouth group meets weekly.