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Roles and responsibilities

Identifying sources of support

It is not always possible to know what the best source of support might be.  The student may have more than one problem, or the initial problem may not be the most central.

What is important in the first instance is to refer the student to somewhere that is acceptable to him or her.  A further referral can be made later, if appropriate.

Offering support directly

If you offer support yourself, you must ensure that:

  • You have sufficient time within the context of your other commitments to do this.
  • It does not conflict with other aspects of your role.
  • You have access to consultation.
  • You seek advice from colleagues or Student Services if you have persistent concerns.

Support for yourself can also come from the Chaplain, Occupational Health or, in specific relation to dealing with a student, Student Services.

Remember - you are not responsible for a student's emotional state.


  • Do not disclose personal information about students to anyone outside the University, including parents, without the student's explicit consent.
  • If the parents wish to contact a student, you can offer to forward a communication or tell the student they have been in touch.
  • Treat personal information about students with discretion.
  • Do not promise absolute confidentiality and advise the student that you may have to consult a colleague.

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