Student Support Team Profile

Meet Kerry, Mental Health Practitioner

Kerry chatted to us about her role in the student support team, how she keeps mentally healthy and what her key tips for self-care are.

Tell us about your job role

My role in Student Support involves supporting students with severe and enduring mental health conditions who may be in crisis. I help figure out what’s going on and help them fill any gaps in support, referring students on as needed. I may work with a student just once or for an extended period.
I meet students who have a range of support needs from anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders – to feeling suicidal and psychosis. I take a holistic approach and work with people around what they need and what they want.
Some students worry that they may be forced to leave university if they ask for help. Which is not the case, but it is one of the reasons we sometimes see people when they’ve reached a crisis point rather than earlier.
We always say that if you’re starting to struggle or wobble a bit come and see us straight away – don’t worry you’re not going to get in trouble.

How did you become part of the Student Support Team?

My background is in social work that’s what my Master’s is in. I worked with children in care and specialised in supporting older teenagers, 16 and 17-year-olds, who had experienced significant trauma that often meant they were removed from their family home. I have also worked for Women’s Aid so have experience working in domestic abuse too.
I became interested in specialising more in mental health, so when this job at the university came up, I took it. I like working with younger people going through big life changes.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I’m always busy. I enjoy being social – spending time with my husband, friends, and church community, a lot revolves around food and eating together. I like playing squash, gardening, sewing, and being outside. I’m always on the go.

How do you keep mentally fit and healthy?

I do need ‘me time’ to recharge my batteries so time to myself would be sewing, which helps me switch off, I’m making little bears at the moment. Gardening also helps and being outside can clear my head. My faith and the support of my community also keep me mentally fit, along with the supervision I get monthly at work.

What are your favourite self-care tips?

My self-care tips would be to connect with others, prioritise sleep, and get outside. Lack of sleep really impacts mood, appetite and overall wellbeing.

What would you like to say to someone seeking support?

I’d tell any student thinking of seeking support – just come and see us. We’ve likely seen it before, so don’t worry. Seeking support sooner prevents things from escalating to crisis. We’re here to help you stay at uni and thrive.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is seeing students I’ve supported do well – when they are back on track, graduating, and living their lives. I’m glad I got to be part of their journey.

How to contact the student support team?

You can request a drop-in appointment at the Compass Helpdesk. Email the team at, complete the drop-in form, use the compass web chat or call us on 01326 370 460.

For further information including wellbeing resources visit our wellbeing pages.