College-Based Counselling / Student Assistance Programme

At Clare Hall, we have a number of ways we help support our students' wellbeing and mental health. The Student Assistance Programme, the College-Based Counsellor and the College Nurse are all there to help you make the most of your time at Clare Hall and provide mental health support.

Student Assistance Programme

What is a Student Assistance Programme (SAP)?

SAP is a confidential programme designed to help you deal with personal or student-related problems. The problems could be affecting your home life, education, health, and general wellbeing. At Clare Hall our service is provided by an external organisation that is one of the leading providers in the UK. The SAP service provides a complete support network that offers expert advice and compassionate guidance 24/7, covering a wide range of issues, not only reactive support but also proactive and preventative support to deliver the best possible outcomes. You can call any time to access in-the moment support from a counsellor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

Clare Hall students are also offered access to a comprehensive health and wellbeing app that provides another way to access the counselling support, as well as many other features to promote wellbeing. All students are provided with contact details for SAP at the start of the year by the Tutorial Office. If you have any queries, please email tutorial.office@clarehall.cam.ac.uk.

College-Based Counsellor

Clare Hall provides a free and confidential College-based counselling service for all postgraduate students registered at the College. This is in addition to the University Counselling Service (UCS) which Clare Hall students can also use.

College-based counselling is a scheme run by the University Counselling Service and subject to the same policies and procedures, including confidentiality.

For Lent Term 2022, in-person counselling appointments will be offered for students plus remote/online appointments if you would prefer and via zoom.us (audio or video).

How do I make an appointment?

Many people sort out problems by talking to friends, family or staff in their College or Department. Sometimes looking up some information about things that are concerning them is helpful and UCS has a large selection of self-help information available on their website. However, there are times when this is not enough, and you may wish to speak to the College-Based Counsellor in a private setting in your College.

The Clare Hall Counsellor is available on Thursdays during Full Term between 9am and 5pm. Please be sure to indicate that you are a member of Clare Hall when you apply for counselling.

Students completing the online form are encouraged to apply to UCS and college-based counselling simultaneously for the shortest possible waiting time. 

For more information and to apply, please go to College-Based Counselling at Clare Hall

Please note that during peak times your application will be acknowledged and your details may be placed on a waiting list until a suitable appointment becomes available. 

In addition to the scheduled counselling sessions, two online one-off drop-in sessions are available per week. These 20-30 min sessions are an easy, short-notice way to get in touch with a mental health professional. The drop-in sessions are for students who have concerns about their emotional wellbeing but are not wishing to access counselling. They are an opportunity you to talk confidentially about your concerns, to ask questions about counselling if you are unsure and to help you connect with support available throughout the university.

To book a drop-in appointment no self-referral form is necessary, simply contact the counselling service front desk via phone 01223 332865 or email counsellingreception@admin.cam.ac.uk. The booking is confidential, and they will confirm your appointment via email.

Private Counselling/Therapy

If you require mental health support beyond what is offered by the University Counselling Service, you can apply for support from the College’s mental health fund. The mental health fund, in conjunction with the University’s Crane Fund, can be used to pay for tailored therapy by a private counsellor or psychotherapist. Please contact your tutor and complete the application form. You can rest assured that your request will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and you are not required to share any particulars beyond the fact that you require mental health support.


Clare Hall also has a Nurse whom students can see on Wednesdays. Please learn more on this webpage.