case studies

Specialist Support

You can also access a huge range of specialist local, national and global specialist support to help improve your wellbeing.

Our Wellbeing Work Group links up with organisations to highlight additional support that staff can access. Please see the list below, and get in touch with the Wellbeing Workgroup if you have more to add.

You can also be referred to Occupational Health by your line manager.

You can find Covid-19 specific support on the staff wellbeing homepage.

Able Futures

Able Futures

Lancaster University has formed a partnership with Able Futures, which provides the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service for people working and living with mental health difficulties, employers and providers of apprenticeships. Through the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service you can talk to a health care professional within one working day of signing-up. The support is built around you and your needs, and everything you discuss is confidential. The service is fast and flexible. This is a Government funded organisation, so as long as you are working and pay tax in the UK, you can use their services for free.

What support can I get?

You’ll be supported by a qualified health care professional, who will:

  • Help you build a support plan that suits your needs and daily routine
  • Meet you face-to-face or talk over the phone
  • Connect you to local specialist support organisations
  • Give you access to our free online hub, where you can find advice on coping with mental health conditions
  • Guarantee a 100% confidential service. Your employer, friends or family will not know unless you decide to tell them

Enjoy more good days by applying online or call free on 0800 321 3137 8am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Able Futures Website Able Futures Flyer View Case Studies


Bereavement Support

It is sadly possible that you or one of your colleagues may suffer bereavement and loss during this global epidemic, which has brought new constraints and restrictions that have an impact on how we can grieve, whether the cause of our loss is Covid-19 related or not. Please see our Bereavement page for details of support, including a personal message from Professor Dame Sue Black, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement).

Hub of Hope

Hub of Hope

The Hub of Hope is a national mental health database which brings together organisations and charities, large and small, from across the country who offer mental health advice and support, together in one place.

You can use your postcode and search online for local support or download the app.

For exmaple, ACCESS counselling in Morecambe offer low-cost counselling.

Counselling Directory

Counselling Directory

If you want to source and pay for your own counselling you can go on the Counselling Directory website, put your postcode in the search and view profiles of local counsellors. The Counselling Directory is a nationwide database of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists. You can find out about their specialisms, how they operate- e.g. most do face to face, but some telephone or skype counselling, and how to contact them.

It is advisable to contact three-five at first, (not all will have availability) and arrange to meet with three to see which counsellor you feel most comfortable with. They'll usually offer a reduced rate for an introductory session where they will explain about how they work and discuss your needs. Once you have picked your counsellor sessions can cost between £30-50 an hour. View a short BBC film about finding a therapist.

The Counselling Directory also offers:

Remember you may be able to access counselling for free through the EAP, Able Futures, or the organisations below.



Mind is a national mental health charity which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

When you're experiencing a mental health problem, supportive and reliable information can change your life. Mind empowers people to understand their condition and the choices available to them through:

  • An Infoline which offers callers confidential help for the price of a local call
  • Legal Line which provides information on mental health related law to the public, service users, family members/carers, mental health professionals and mental health advocates
  • Their award-winning publications and website, now certified by the Information Standard.

people in meeting


There are several Unions that may be relevant to University staff, each offering their own support for members:

people in meeting

Education Support Partnership

The Education Support Partnership are a UK charity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the education workforce.

The charity aim to help those suffering struggling with personal and professional issues by offering free, confidential help and support with trained counsellors.

Their 24/7 helpline is: 08000 562 561.

people in meeting

Natural Healthcare Centre

Staff and Students have been benefitting from the services of the Natural Healthcare Centre at Lancaster University since 1998. Based in the Chaplaincy Centre, their natural healthcare therapists offer a range of servcies including acupuncture, aromatherapy, alexander technique, body massage, herbal medicine, relaxation and stress management, reflexology and shiatsu.


Mental Health Helplines

Whether you're concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines and support groups can offer expert advice.

Anxiety UK
Charity providing support if you've been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 5.30pm)
Bipolar UK
A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Men's Health Forum
24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Mental Health Foundation
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
No Panic
Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia/OCD. Includes a helpline.
Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm)
OCD Action
Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.
Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 5pm)
A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.
Phone: 0845 120 3778 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)
Young suicide prevention society.
Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Mon to Fri,10am to 5pm & 7 to 10pm. Weekends 2 to 5pm)

Rethink Mental Illness
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 4pm)

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30 to 10.30pm)
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most
Peer support forum
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 4pm)
Specialist Triage, Assessment and Referral Team (START)
Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS START provides timely triage, assessment, onward referral/signposting and treatment for Service Users referred without the need for multiple assessments.

Crisis Line
Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Home Treatment Teams helpline accessed once you have been referred to by START.

Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)
Children's charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.
Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)
0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)
Advice on dealing with domestic violence.
Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)
Addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling)
Alcoholics Anonymous
Phone: 0845 769 7555 (24-hour helpline)
Gamblers Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily 10am to midnight)
Alzheimer's Society
Provides information on dementia, including factsheets and helplines.
Phone: 0300 222 1122 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm. Weekends, 10am to 4pm)

Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies. The Cruse website has articles on grief and bereavement, including tips on how you can help yourself and others. The Cruse helpline number is 0808 808 1677‚Äč, open Monday 9.30-5pm, Tuesday-Thursday 9.30-8pm, Friday 9.30-5pm (excluding bank holidays). You can also email Cruse.


Sudden is a charitable initiative for suddenly bereaved people and the people caring for them, has produced some useful online guidance to help people bereaved by Covid-19 and a specialist helpline 0800 121 6510 or talk to Sudden by email at Monday to Wednesday between 10am and 2pm.

Tiger Lily Trust

Local charity who provide support to bereaved parents who have experienced baby loss through miscarriage, stillbirth and neo-natal death and run support groups locally in Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow-in-Furness.

Crime victims
Rape Crisis
To find your local services phone: 0808 802 9999 (daily, 12 to 2.30pm, 7 to 9.30pm)
Victim Support
Phone: 0808 168 9111 (24-hour helpline)
Eating disorders
Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)
Learning disabilities
Charity working with people with a learning disability, their families and carers.
Phone: 0808 808 1111 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)
LGBTQ (Lancashire)

Horizon LGB&T
LGB&T Community Development Project based at Renaissance in Blackpool. Offering Social Groups and one to one support to those who identify as LGB and/or T and any variations thereof.

Lancashire LGBT

A county-wide organisation working across Lancashire for LGBT people.

LGBT Foundation

National LGBT Helpline.

Liberty Church
Liberty Church an inclusive church that welcomes everyone who celebrates the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Out in the Bay

LGBT support in the Lancashire area

Queer Boots
A dance night for LGBTQ folk and friends in Lancaster, UK.
LGBTQ (National Organizations)

All About Trans
Promoting Trans voices in the media


Advice, information, support for family members, partners and friends of trans people.

Gendered Intelligence

Support, training and resources for those who work with and support trans people across the UK; youth services for the under 30s.


National LGBT domestic violence helpline.

Gender trust

Supporting trans people nationally (18+).


GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) promotes research, campaigns, provides publications, especially in the medical / healthcare field.

LGBT+ & Allies Disability + Mental Health Support

Group for all LGBTQI people that have a Disability e.g. Depression, Anxiety and Mental Health etc. and want to discuss any problems or struggles they have.

LGB&T Partnership

England-wide group of LGB&T voluntary & community organisations committed to reducing the health inequalities of lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans people.


Forum space, summer residentials and information for young trans people (<19) & parents.

Mindline Trans+

Nationwide, is a confidential emotional, mental health support helpline for people who identify as transgender, agender, gender fluid and non-binary.


MindOut Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Queer Mental Health Service.

Pink Therapy

The UKs largest independent therapy organisation working with gender and sexual diversity clients.


Stonewall campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across Britain.


LGBT+ helpline

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN)

AVEN hosts the world's largest online asexual community as well as a large archive of resources on asexuality.

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

Family Lives
Advice on all aspects of parenting including dealing with bullying.
Phone: 0808 800 2222 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 9pm. Sat to Sun, 10am to 3pm)
The UK's largest provider of relationship support.