Looking after your wellbeing

Everyone is adjusting to new ways of living and working, which can cause worry and anxiety. See a range of information, guidance and support to improve your physical and mental wellbeing.

Looking after yourself

We understand many of you might be feeling worried or anxious at the moment, due to the Coronavirus situation.

Some of the following things may help you. Although it is normal to feel worried or anxious when there is uncertainty, there are things you can try which can help our wellbeing.

Stay informed

It can be helpful to keep up to date with accurate information about the current situation, but it’s important to make sure that information comes from reliable sources.

If news stories make you feel anxious or confused, think about switching off or limiting what you look at for a while; you could try only checking the news or social media at certain times of the day.

Mental and emotional health during self-isolation

Take care of your mental as well as physical health and seek support if needed.

Keep in touch with family and friends over the phone and on social media.

Sources of support and information

There are lots of ways we can look after ourselves while following government guidance. This includes having a regular routine, taking exercise, staying in touch other people and keeping mentally active.

Here are some useful resources:

Talking to Samaritans

Samaritans is a charity you can call to talk to someone about anything troubling you. There’s no judgment and no pressure. You can call Samaritans free on 116123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

Watch a Samaritans video on YouTube (open video in new tab).

Online services and apps

  • Silvercloud – an online self-help application, provided through the Sussex counselling service. Delivered online, these computer-based therapeutic programmes aim to offer information and self-help support for students and staff experiencing problems.
  • MindShift app – MindShift™ CBT is a free app that uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety.
  • WellMind app – WellMind is a free NHS mental health and wellbeing app designed to help you with stress, anxiety and depression. The app includes advice, tips and tools to improve your mental health and boost your wellbeing.
  • In Hand app – In Hand is a free app that acts as a digital friend to help you in times of stress or low mood. Taking you through different activities depending on how you're feeling, In Hand aims to focus you on where you're at and bring back the balance.
  • Stay Alive app – This free app is a pocket suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide

Accessing self-help guides

Students can access an online suite of Sussex branded self-help guides, which are produced by the NHS and address a range of mental health and wellbeing issues. You can view the full set of online guides here.

New: Low mood and anxiety online groups

The Counselling Service is running a ‘Lift your mood’ group via Zoom. It is a safe space for students experiencing low mood, depression or loss of motivation, routine or enjoyment to learn evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness strategies to help you get back on track.

Sessions will take place weekly starting on Wednesday 10 June, 2pm to 3.30pm, over 6 weeks. Numbers are limited so if you would like to book please contact counsellingreception@sussex.ac.uk.

The Counselling Service has also started an online drop-in group for students wanting help with anxiety. Sessions are running weekly between 1pm and 2pm, from Wednesday 17 June until the end of August.

For further information visit the Counselling Service workshops page.

Online mindfulness sessions

Our Chaplaincy service is recording and sharing free online mindfulness meditation sessions.

New: Sexual health

The Young Persons clinic run by Brighton & Hove Sexual Health and Contraception service is re-opening. Under 25s can walk in and wait on Wednesdays from 1.30pm to 6pm at Morley Street (SHAC Central).

Brighton & Hove Sexual Health and Contraception service can post condoms for free within the city. Call the SHAC Clinic on 01273 523388 for this service. Alternatively, they can be picked up from a C-Card pharmacy, with or without a C-Card if under the age of 25, for free. Find out more.

Any students with a Brighton postcode (BN1/BN2/BN3/BN41) can order a free home STI testing kit for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis and HIV.

Covid-19 has given us a unique opportunity to reduce, and potentially stop, the onward transmission of HIV by testing for it before lockdown ends. Read more.

For people living with HIV, Terrence Higgins Trust are offering a range of support and services via their At Home service. THT Brighton are able to provide various support services over the phone.


All students can take part in free online exercise classes provided by Sussexsport (you don’t have to be a member of Sussexsport to take part) – so you can stay in, work out.

You can find information on the Sussexsport webpages.

Students’ Union virtual events

USSU has created a huge list of virtual events, happening daily. From live-streamed classes to pub quizzes, there’s something for everyone. Find out more.

Sussex SU Community Peer Support Group – a Facebook group designed to connect Sussex students and create a space to have fun, take part in virtual events and experience some light relief from the current Coronavirus pandemic. The group will be hosting virtual events put on by the SU as well as students and societies, such as live workouts, cook-alongs, crafting sessions, coffee mornings and more.

Help and support

At the present time, the Student Life Centre, Student Support Unit, University Counselling Services and International Student Support are providing online services if you need support – don’t hesitate to contact them.

Find out how to contact our support services.

Accessing medical help

If you need medical help from your doctor’s surgery, contact them either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed. You can view online guidance about seeing a GP, produced by Healthwatch.

If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.

If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.

If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital.

Accessing pharmacies

The doctor’s surgery and dentist are continuing to provide a remote phone-based service to students.

Important: The University Pharmacy is closed until further notice – but alternative services are available.

The nearest pharmacy to the campus is the Coldean Pharmacy, just off Coldean Lane in Beaty Avenue. See information on emergency prescriptions and pharmacy services over holidays or out of hours and pharmacies close to the University.

If you normally collect your prescriptions from the University pharmacy you will be able to collect them from an alternative service. Students who are registered with the online prescription service at the University Health Centre and wish to change their current registered pharmacy and will need to change their destination pharmacy.

Some pharmacies in Brighton also offer a delivery service for prescriptions. Below are links to pharmacies that can offer free prescription delivery services:

For delivery details, contact the doctor’s surgery, pharmacy and dentis for up-to-date information; see the living on campus page.

Dental services

The Chief Dental Officer has said routine dentistry and orthodontic treatment should no longer be provided and deferred until advised otherwise.

All practices are establishing (independently or by collaboration with others) a remote urgent care service, providing telephone triage for patients with urgent needs during usual working hours, and whenever possible treating with:

  • advice
  • analgesia (pain relief)
  • antimicrobial means, where appropriate.

Emergency dental treatment

If you need dental treatment you can still contact a dentist and be referred on for urgent treatment. Healthwatch has produced online guidance about seeing a dentist.

If you need emergency treatment, contact the Emergency Dental Service on 03001 231663 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday).

iDental Care Limited offers emergency NHS out of hours dental service. Call: 03000 242548 (5.30pm-10.30pm, Monday-Friday, 9am-5.30pm weekends). Outside of practice hours you can also call NHS 111.

Your GP may be able to provide support, such as prescribing antibiotics for an infection.

See information and updates on dental services in Brighton & Hove.