This article will provide information on resources to support you if you have problems with your physical health.
You should always consult a doctor (also known as a General Practitioner or GP) if you are worried about your health - a medical doctor will aim to diagnose your health problem and ensure you receive appropriate treatment. You should also let your doctor know if you are feeling persistently low as a result of your physical health difficulties, or if your difficulties are affecting your daily functioning beyond the expected symptoms. This article is about additional resources for students affected by illness.
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. They can also advise if you may be able to get additional support with your studies, via the Additional Support and Disability Advice Service (ASDAC).
Other support and resources which may be helpful 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. We are experienced in providing supporting students with psychological difficulties caused by illness or physical health problems.
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 workshops and courses for learning skills to tackle common issues like stress, anxiety and low mood. Our popular 'From Stress to Success' courses, and 'Mood Boost', ‘introduction to compassionate mind’, and ‘stress less stay well’ workshops might be particularly useful for students managing physical health problems. Consult our events, courses and workshops programme to see if any other courses or workshops seem relevant to your concerns.
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.
The following books available from the University library may be useful:
If you would like to research more around the topic of managing physical health problems, the Student Wellbeing Service can recommend the following self help resources:
Royal College of Psychiatrists leaflet with information on problematic tiredness, possible causes, and ways to beat it. Includes information on chronic fatigue syndrome.
Charity providing information and support for people with M.E. / Chronic Fatigue and their carers. Includes a support line, forums, tips for self-help and information about other treatments and support groups.
Free self-help site for people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), offering a five part online CBT-based programme that may also be useful for people with general fatigue or fibromyalgia.
Royal College of Psychiatrists leaflet detailing the possible emotional effects of having a serious physical illness, factors that might make people more likely to become anxious or depressed, when to seek help, how to help oneself, how family and friends can help and places to get information and support.
Educational charity, website contains useful information on chronic pain and its management, including medications and psychological treatments.
National charity which aims to reduce the impact of back pain. Includes information on causes, prevention, treatments, and services including local support groups, and offers a helpline.
University of Portsmouth Student Wellbeing Service Contact Details:
Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 3466
Location: Nuffield Centre, Second Floor, St Michael's Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2ED