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Residential Life

Support to Reside

By Adrian 22 Aug 2023

You can read our full Support to Reside Policy and Procedure here.

Our positive & recovery-focussed approach

The University of London is committed to supporting student wellbeing and recognises that a positive and recovery-focussed approach to the management of physical and mental health is crucial. All members of the University community have a responsibility to support each other in creating a safe environment which is conducive to study, living and working.

The University expects students in the Intercollegiate Halls to be able to live safely, independently and in harmony with others, and not to conduct themselves in a way which has an adverse impact on those around them. Some students may require additional support to achieve this, but all students are responsible for managing their own health, wellbeing, and behaviour. We aim to encourage and foster independence, self-awareness, resilience and personal responsibility within our students.

The University has a duty of care to respond appropriately to situations where there are substantial concerns relating to a student’s health or behaviour that is having a detrimental impact on themselves or other members of the University community.

Types of concern

  • Safeguarding concern: When someone is vulnerable to, or at risk of, abuse, exploitation or neglect.
  • Prevent Duty concern: When someone is vulnerable to, or at risk of, radicalisation or being drawn into terrorism.
  • Significant mental health concerns: When someone may be a risk to self (e.g. suicide, self-harm) or risk to others (e.g. violence).

Support available for students

Primary responsibility for student support rests with the university, college, or institute where a student is enrolled to study. At most universities and colleges, this includes disability advisors, psychological services, and wellbeing advisors. All students who meet the eligibility criteria to live in the Intercollegiate Halls are also eligible to receive National Health Service care, free at the point of use.

There is more information about the support available for our students.

Residential Life: Wardens and Resident Advisors

Within the Intercollegiate Halls, you have access to wellbeing support provided by live-in Wardens and student volunteer student Resident Advisors – the Residential Life team. This is primarily a safety netting and signposting service and is not intended to replace the counselling and therapeutic services provided by member institutions or the National Health Service. The service provided by Wardens and Resident Advisors is designed for occasional use only and is not suitable for responding to frequent crises or providing regular long-term support.

What Resident Advisors (RAs) can offer

  • RAs can be a non-judgmental, empathetic listening ear for any worries or concerns.
  • As fellow students, RAs may be able to share their own experience of university life and offer tips or suggestions for managing common challenges.
  • RAs can help you work through low-level disagreements with other residents. 
  • The duty RA, available whenever the Hall office is closed, is available to be a first point of contact for any emergencies or crises. They can assist you in contacting the emergency services or other professional help if necessary.
  • The duty RA may offer a friendly, once-daily check-in with any students who have been unwell or distressed, for up to a few days after the incident. 

What Wardens can offer

  • A non-judgmental, empathetic listening ear for any worries or concerns.
  • Advice or guidance about how to manage the kinds of problems commonly encountered by students.
  • Help with resolving conflicts and disagreements in the Hall.
  • Help with finding and navigating the professional support options available at colleges, universities, from charities, and within the health service.
  • Help with creating a personal safety plan if a student experiences thoughts about self-harm or suicide.

Residential Life team boundaries

Our Residential Life teams are not trained to be counsellors, coaches, therapists, or mental health advisors. They are not trained or qualified to carry clinical risk, so students with more complex or serious difficulties – including thoughts of self-harm or suicide – will always need to be treated by professional healthcare or support services. The Residential Life team is not able to offer intensive, frequent or regular support for individuals.

Halls Management

The Hall Management team in your hall can help with physical adaptations where required for students with disabilities, and with developing personal emergency evacuation plans for students who may need special consideration in the event of a building evacuation. 

How you can contact the team in halls

Part 2 of the Hall Handbook provides contact details for the Warden and Hall Management team in each Hall. You can also find our contact information here.

In an emergency, contact the reception desk for your hall, which is open 24 hours a day. The reception team will alert the member of staff or Resident Advisor on call.

Resources we may recommend

When we're supporting a student with a mental health concern, we may recommend the use of these resources:

How and when we share information

Sharing information within the team

Resident Advisors must always share any concerns about a student’s health or wellbeing with the Hall Warden. When dealing with urgent or emergency situations, Resident Advisors will always submit a report that is shared with the Warden, other RAs, and the Hall Management team.

Conversations with a Warden are normally confidential. If the Warden considers that information about a student needs to be shared with other members of the team, and if this cannot be done on an anonymised basis, they will normally ask for the student’s consent to share as part of the Information Sharing Flowchart below.

Equality Focus counselling referrals

We work with Equality Focus to offer up to six sessions with a counsellor for students whose needs cannot be met by the mental health services at the university where they study, but which are within the professional scope of our counsellors. Access to this service is by referral from the Residential Life Manager, within defined service criteria. Wardens may discuss with the Residential Life Manager to put forward students for consideration of a referral.

Equality Focus provides a confidential service and the information students discuss with their counsellors is not routinely provided to the University unless the student’s health, wellbeing or welfare is judged to be at imminent risk. In these circumstances and where the counsellor thinks the student needs additional support, they will seek the student’s consent to share their name and information about the concerns with the Residential Life team so that they can provide further help. In some circumstances where the student is not able to provide consent or where the student refuses consent, Equality Focus may still decide to share relevant information with the University where it is necessary to protect the student’s or another person’s vital interests.

Sharing information with third parties

In a situation where we believe a student is at risk of serious or lasting harm, or is placing others at risk of such harm, we will consider contacting a third party such as next of kin, emergency contact, the emergency services, safeguarding services, or a student’s university or GP. This may arise at any stage in the Support to Reside Procedure. The Information Sharing Flowchart below will guide decision-making around the sharing of information. Wherever possible, we will seek consent before sharing information with a third party.

Situations when the University will contact third parties

Situations in which we may need to contact a third party include, but are not limited to:

  • A student is exhibiting behaviour that may pose a serious risk to safety and wellbeing.
  • A student attends or is admitted to hospital in an emergency.
  • A student suffers serious physical injury, including significant self-harm.
  • A student has not recently been seen in the Hall accommodation, we have been unable to contact the student and they are considered missing.
  • A student is experiencing a serious mental health crisis.

Information sharing flowchart

Our staff and Resident Advisors use this pathway to ensure that information is shared appropriately, effectively, and within the law.


More information

You can read our full Support to Reside Policy and Procedure here, as well as our Halls Tenant Privacy Notice.

We also have articles about confidentiality in student support and identifying your trusted contacts. 

Adrian profile picture

Adrian is a medical doctor, the Student Health & Wellbeing Manager at the University of London and the Warden of Connaught Hall, where he has lived for more than 25 years.
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