Welfare & Mental Wellbeing

There are plenty of people here to support you if you are worried about your mental wellbeing, or if you want to discuss problems of any sort. 

  • The Balliol Peer Supporter Network are trained student volunteers who are available for those would like to discuss problems of any nature. Andrea Schnabl (andrea.schnabl@balliol.ox.ac.uk), Mohamed Elmi (mohamed.elmi@balliol.ox.ac.uk) and Angharad Jones Buxton (angharad.jonesbuxton@balliol.ox.ac.uk) are our current MCR peer supporters. Additionally, the Junior Dean Mary Jiyani (junior.dean@balliol.ox.ac.uk) is a graduate officer with peer support training.

  • Leah Veronese & Ayesha Purcell (MCR Welfare Officers) are available to provide support on a range of issues and a confidential listening space, as well as advice on resources available across the university. (leah.veronese-clucas@balliol.ox.ac.uk) (ayesha.purcell@balliol.ox.ac.uk)

  • Angharad Jones Buxton & Henry West (Assistant Praefectus) are available to offer support to any Balliol student who needs their help. They are available to help day or night, and are always happy to talk. (angharad.jonesbuxton@balliol.ox.ac.uk) (henry.west@balliol.ox.ac.uk)

  • Tom Melham (Praefectus) is always available to provide advice and assistance on any matter that is troubling you, including academic, financial and personal concerns. As the Praefectus he is very familiar with graduate life at Balliol. (tom.melham@balliol.ox.ac.uk 01865 271508)

  • Bruce Kinsey (Wellbeing and Welfare Officer) is happy to meet any member of College, to assist with any problems or to offer discreet advice about personal or work-related issues. He is a trained counsellor, registered Psychotherapist and also the college chaplain. (bruce.kinsey@balliol.ox.ac.uk, 01865 277716)

  • The College Nurse is here to help with a wide range of health matters and concerns, and can assist with making doctor’s appointments if required - often on the same day. All consultations are confidential. She runs drop in clinics at the following times (0th to 9th weeks only).

    • Holywell Manor (first floor, north wing):

      • Wednesday at 1:00pm-5:00pm

    • Main Site Staircase XXII, Room 1:

      • Monday at 2:00pm-6:00pm

      • Tuesday 1:00pm-5:00pm

      • Thursday 2:00pm-6:00pm

  • Or you can contact her on 01865 277737 or via email at balliolnurse@nhs.net

Many other people in college are available to be contacted for help and advice. A full list can be seen here.

University-wide Resources

  • The University Counselling Service offers individual counselling, group counselling and workshops. Their website also has links to self-help resources on a variety of issues.

  • Mind your Head aims to raise awareness of and reduce the stigma of mental health issues. They have a fantastic website which lists many other resources in Oxford for those who feel they would like support with their mental health.

  • Nightline is a confidential listening service, providing support and information, for students and by students, throughout the night. They can be contacted on 01865 270270 any time from 8pm to 8am from Sunday 0th week until Saturday 10th week.

  • The College Doctors (Dr Chris Kenyon and Dr Deborah Waller) have a lot of experience dealing with student mental wellbeing, and are able to provide an overview of services available across Oxford and discuss with you what your options are. 01865 240501

  • TalkingSpace offers a range of therapies for the treatment of common problems such as depression and anxiety. You can go to the website to carry out a self-referral.

  • Samaritans are a national charity available 24/7, all year around. They provide a confidential and independent listening service for anyone in mental distress. They can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90.

Sexual Health & Contraception

In terms of physical health, it’s important to keep yourself safe from sexually transmitted infections and the chance of an unplanned pregnancy. The best way to do this is by using contraception.

  • Our welfare cupboards contain condoms, dental dams, lubricant, sanitary products and pregnancy tests, all free for those in need and available 24/7. There are four cupboards in the following locations:

    • Holywell Manor: Ground floor bathroom South Wing (just off the bar)

    • Holywell Manor: First floor bathroom in Centre Wing

    • Dellal Building: Ground floor bathroom

    • Martin Building: Ground floor bathroom

  • Sister Chris Sunga, our College nurse, can provide family planning advice, including emergency contraception, and repeat prescriptions. See above for her clinic times and contact details.

  • The College Doctors are able to advise on sexual health and contraception, and can provide emergency contraception.

  • Emergency contraception is a form of birth control that prevents pregnancy after unprotected sex (otherwise known as ‘the morning after pill’). The sooner you use emergency contraception after having unprotected sex, the more effective it is. See here for further details. It is available from the college nurse or doctors, any sexual health clinic, and can also be purchased from most pharmacies (costs vary, but it will be around £25). MCR members who purchase emergency contraception from a pharmacy can be anonymously reimbursed by filling in this form.

  • Sexual Health Clinics:

    • Rectory Road is the closest sexual health clinic. Walk in clinics run throughout the week , offering a range of services such as free condoms, STI checks, and emergency contraception.

    • There is a larger clinic in the East wing of the Churchill Hospital. The clinic provides STI testing and all types of contraception – you can either make an appointment or attend a drop in clinic.

    • Further details for both including clinic times and directions can be found here.

  • Chlamydia screening: (ages 24 and under only) you can request a free testing kit to be posted to you from Oxford NHS. To request a kit:

    • Use your mobile: text the word ‘TEST’ to 81400

    • Or request online.

  • C-card - free condoms: (ages 25 and under only) sign up here.

  • Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP): if you believe you have been exposed to HIV, PEP is an emergency measure that may prevent infection. It is available from some sexual health clinics to those meeting certain criteria - see here for more details.

  • For students aged 25 and under, as soon as you book a pap smear and/or HPV vaccination with your local GP (most likely 19 Beaumont Street, Phone: 01865 240501), please contact the MCR’s Women’s Officer as she will put some fancy chocolate or a mini bottle of prosecco in your pidge in the Holywell Manor post room as a nice reward. These screens are used to detect the early stages of cervical cancer; a disease which is very aggressive and manifests early on. HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer; most of you were vaccinated if you went to school in the UK, however you can get the vaccine for free on the NHS up to your 25th birthday if you missed it. Please get yourself vaccinated, everyone including men, women and non-binary people, as you are all at risk of HPV related cancers.

Sexual Assault:

  • For more general information on reporting, and services for treatment and support, see here.

Other resources

  • The Student Advice Service (run by OUSU) provides advice, information and advocacy to Oxford students on a number of issues including mental and sexual health, but also academic, financial, and accommodation concerns. Their website may be found here.

  • The Disability Advisory Service provides information and advice on disability issues at Oxford and facilitates support for students with disabilities. This includes, for example, students with sensory or mobility impairments, long-term health conditions, specific learning difficulties, autistic spectrum conditions or mental health difficulties. Their website may be be found here.

Disclaimer: This information was originally compiled by Sarah Reeve, Jess Hutchens and Jamie Beacom from various other sources. All information is correct as of October 2019. It is intended to provide an overview of available options, we are not ourselves qualified to provide medical advice.