Staff member concerned about a student?

Many people experience emotional or psychological difficulties at some point in their life.

Academic life can be both exciting and challenging and this will impact on students in various ways. It is not uncommon for students to feel stressed and overwhelmed at times. While most students cope with the stresses of life at university by talking issues through with academic staff, family and friends, some may benefit from professional help.

As a member of university staff you may find yourself in the position where you feel the need, or are requested, to give student assistance. It is important that you do so within the boundaries of what you feel comfortable doing.

Emergency Intervention Team

GCU’s new Emergency Intervention Team (EIT) offers support and guidance to staff members who are dealing with distressed students or students in crisis.

It is staffed by GCU counsellors, mental health advisers and student wellbeing advisers.

You can contact the EIT if a student is highly distressed and you believe they would benefit from getting help that day.

You can also contact the service for guidance and advice when dealing with any of the following circumstances:

• A student talks of feeling suicidal/self-harm/harming others
• A student is finding it difficult to function
• A student appears to be mentally confused, perhaps delusional or unable to follow a normal conversation
• A student is at risk of homelessness or in a financial crisis
• If you are worried about the student’s mental health and wellbeing due to a critical incident
• You need advice about how best to support a student/students you are concerned about.

The service is available from 9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 3pm on Fridays.


How to access the EIT?
0141 273 1393 internal - X1393

The service is accessed by calling the main student wellbeing number, you will then be transferred to the member of staff on duty or a call back will be arranged.


Outwith EIT hours
In less urgent cases you can email student wellbeing at marking the email “for the attention of the EIT Team” and this will be picked up when the service is next open and someone will get back to you. You can also encourage the student to contact student wellbeing themselves.

If you are on campus with the student and you feel the student is at immediate risk of harm then contact campus security on x3787.
If the student is not on campus and you feel they are at immediate risk of harm then contact the emergency services on 999.


When would you not use it?

In some cases, listening without judgment and giving information may be all that is needed – or reassurance if a student is distressed and/or tearful.  If you’re in any doubt as to whether or not a student meets the criteria for an E.I.T. appointment, please feel free to phone us.

In less urgent cases the student can be encouraged to contact their GP or Student Advice Centre or Student wellbeing.

Students can self-refer to the counselling service on our website here:


Does the student agree that they need help?  Are they willing to accept help?

It’s important to obtain consent from the student. It is very difficult to help someone who does not think they need help or is unwilling to use any help suggested.

If the person is disruptive, or acting in way that is endangering themselves or others, please phone campus security on: x3787

Identifying and Supporting Students in Distress Booklet

The Wellbeing Service have collaborated with university colleagues to produce a guide to help you to Identify and Support Students in Distress‌.

We value feedback and would be happy to meet for informal discussions or to present at group/departmental meetings. Requests for paper copies of the guide should be emailed to the Student Wellbeing Service, along with any other comments or suggestions.


Identifying and Supporting Students in Distress Webinar

The Wellbeing Service have also produced a recorded webinar for staff which explores this guidance and how to identify and support students in distress in practise. The webinar is available at the Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub, under Supporting Students and Colleagues.