If you are suffering from mental health difficulties or a mental illness, the road to recovery will involve either short-term or long-term support. Which type of support you need will depend on many factors, including:

  1. The type of mental health difficulty or mental illness you are experiencing.
  2. How persistent the issue has been.
  3. How much work you are willing to do.
  4. Time and funds available.

Short-term support can include 1-12 counselling sessions.

Long-term support can include ongoing counselling over a set period of time that will be determined by the health professional.

Short-term Support Only Long-term Support Only Short-term and Long-term Support
Open Door Team NHS Unity Health
Colleges The Retreat The Tuke Centre
Nightline Disability Services (University of York) York Mind
Saneline Qwell Counselling
Rethink Mental Illness

Note: When you go to see a GP or a (mental) health professional you may not always agree with everything they say, but it is important to keep in mind that they are all professional and they have your best interest in mind. If you are, nevertheless, disatisfied with your GP or mental health professional, ask to be seen by someone else.

Short-term Support Only

Open Door Team

What the Open Door Team offers

The Open Door Team is a campus-based service that offers psychological support when your mental health difficulties are having an impact on your academic life. They offer a variety of services and after your initial appointment it will be determined how they can help you best. This may involve:

  • Up to 6 sessions short term help for specific issues
  • Signposting to other services
  • Short term Counselling
  • Short term Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Case management
  • Workshops and groups

All information is confidential.

How to book an appointment

For the initial appointment you should contact the Student Support Hub on Market Square.
Tel: 01904 324140 Email:

How long will I have to wait for my first appointment?

On average it takes about 2 weeks to get your first appointment.

Please note that waiting times differ greatly across the academic year, from just a few day to up to 4 weeks during peak times (e.g. exam times).

How much will it cost?

The service is free but it is only for registered students at the University of York.



What the Nightline offers

Nightline is a student-run, confidential listening, information and sexual health supplies service. They have two trained student volunteers on duty in their flat from 8pm to 8am every night of the University of York term. They can be contacted on the phone, by email, or by dropping into the flat.

The flat offers a calm, comfortable atmosphere, where our volunteers will give you space to go through any issues you are facing, in complete confidentiality. No records are kept about our callers and we won’t ask your name.

How to book an appointment

There is no need to book an appointment.

Nightline can be contacted on the phone, by email, or by dropping into the flat.

Call 01904 323735 every night of term from 8pm – 8am

Email at any time, day or night, and they will reply to your email within 48 hours.

Visit them at 8 Main St, Heslington, York YO10 5EA

How much will it cost?

The service is free but it is only for register students at the University of York or York St. John. Call costs may apply.



What the Saneline offers

SANE runs a national, out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. We are open every day of the year from 6pm to 11pm.

How to book an appointment

There is no need to book an appointment.

Call 0300 304 7000 between 6pm and 11pm each evening

Mental Health Forum – a space where mutual support is given and received by anyone affected by mental illness.

How much will it cost?

The service is free. Call costs may apply.


Rethink Mental Illness

What Rethink Mental Illness offers

Expert advice and information for anyone affected by mental health problems. Everything from treatment and care to benefits and employment rights.

How to book an appointment

There is no need to book an appointment.

Call 0300 500097

How much will it cost?

The service is free. Call costs may apply.


Long-term Support Only

The Retreat

What the Retreat offers

The Retreat is  a provider of specialist mental health care to individuals with very complex and persistent needs in an inpatient environment. Inpatient treatment means that an individual resides at the Retreat for a period of time determined by health professionals. In case of a student, the student may have to take a break from their studies. The Retreat has several units, including the Naomi unit that specialises in eating disorders, and the Acorn unit which specialises in borderline personality disorder.

How to book an appointment

The Retreat requires a referral from someone’s Psychiatrist or Care Co-ordinator from their local NHS mental health team. The Community Mental Health Team will want to ensure that all services within the individual’s local area have been tried and they agree that the individual would benefit from a period of inpatient treatment at The Retreat. If an individual’s local Community Mental Health team agree, then they complete a referral form, including all relevant paperwork, such as previous psychiatric reports, any psychology reports and current risk assessments, which are then passed on to the Clinical Teams of the services in order to make a decision about what service would be best able to meet the individual’s needs. Following this, if suitable, the Retreat would offer an assessment to the individual, which happens here at The Retreat.

How much will it cost?

The service is NHS funded.


Disability Services

What the Disability Services offers

Disability Services at the University of York provide support for students with a disability or long term health condition.  Their experienced staff can offer advice and guidance in specific areas of disability including, dyslexia and specific learning differences; asperger’s syndrome; visual and hearing impairment and physical/medical impairments.

If you have a medical condition or unseen disability and feel uncertain about contacting them, it is important that you do so as that they may help you.

Support may include:

  • Advice regarding the support options available to you during your studies.
  • Examination arrangements
  • Library support, including extended library loans.
  • Liaison with your academic department.
  • Advice on the process of applying for on-campus accommodation, if you have additional requirements.
  • Signposting you to appropriate support.
  • Organising non medical help support such as mentor, note taker, study skills, exam support etc.
  • Arranging for learning materials to be produced in alternative formats.
How to book an appointment

It is preferred that students book an appointment to ensure that they are seen by the appropriate adviser.  To book an appointment call 01904 324785 or email

Opening hours:

Term Time: Monday to Friday – 9.00 am – 4.15 pm
Non-Term Time: Monday to Friday (outside term-time) – 10.00 am – 4.00 pm

Disability Services are located in Sally Baldwin Buildings Block B

How long will I have to wait for my first appointment?

The waiting time for an appointment is on average 1 – 3 weeks, depending on the time of year and demand of the service.  The Autumn term is the busiest period and it can take around 3 weeks to get an appointment, while in the Spring and Summer term waiting time is  around 1-2 weeks.

How much will it cost?

The service is free for registered students at the University of York.


Short-term and Long-term Support

Unity Health

What the Unity Health offers

You can make an appointment with a GP regarding your mental health. They can refer you to other relevant services and prescribe you medication if necessary. All information is confidential and all GPs at Unity Health are trained to deal with mental health difficulties.

Depending on your needs, your GP may also decide to refer you to one of the services below:

Primary Care Mental Health Worker

They work at The Health Centre on a Thursday. Your GP will decide if this service would be beneficial to you.  A primary care mental health worker will be based in your GP surgery and their role is to help improve the management of common mental health problems.

Clinical Psychologist

Your GP can refer you to the Clinical Psychology service, which is based at Bootham Hospital.

Counselling Services

The Practice has access to a limited counselling service, which is provided at our Wenlock Terrace surgery. Your GP will refer you into this service.

How to book an appointment

You can go over to the clinic in person or make an appointment by phone at 01904 721820. Alternatively there is the ‘Stay and Wait’ service. This is to be run every morning, Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 11:30am.

How long will I have to wait for my first appointment?

Unity Health tries to book all patients an appointment within 2 weeks.

How much will it cost?

The service is free.


The Tuke Centre

What the Tuke Centre offers

The Tuke Centre is a counselling, therapy and psychological assessment service which offers confidential support for people through difficult times.

For example, they may be able to help you with:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety and phobias
  • Bereavement or losses
  • Compulsions and obsessions
  • Relationships and families
  • Eating disorders
  • Complex problems

They can help you by offering a wider range of therapies and services that will be chosen to best meet your needs:

  • Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Group Therapy
  • Psychological Trauma Service
  • Autism and ADHD Service
  • Eating Disorder Service
  • Personality Disorder Service
How to book an appointment

You can contact the Tuke Centre yourself – you do not need to be referred. If you would rather approach them via your GP or another professional then they will accept that kind of referral too.

Call on 01904 430370 or 01904 424850 or fill out a self-referral form available on their website and email it to

When you contact them, the steps will be as follows:

  1. When you call or they receive a referral, you will be offered an in-depth assessment appointment. During that appointment the therapist will ask about aspects of your earlier and present life and the reasons that prompted you to make contact. He or she will also ask you about what you expect from therapy and explain more about the service.
  2. At the end of the assessment you and your therapist will have a clearer idea of the type and length of treatment that will be appropriate for you and the costs involved.  Your therapist will also talk about confidentiality, the arrangements for payment and what to do if you need to cancel an appointment.
How long will I have to wait for my first appointment?

The average wait time for an assessment appointment is one week.

The average wait for ongoing therapy sessions is 1-2 weeks.

Individual therapy – it may take a couple of weeks after initial assessment for the first session to be scheduled in order to ensure they can assess and discuss appropriate allocation.

Group therapy – The group therapy service early morning and evening groups have a short waiting list (around 4 weeks), but the day group has no waiting list.

Eating disorder service – currently there is a 6-8 week waiting list, but the Tuke are in the process of employing an additional ED therapist which will reduce the waiting time shortly.

How much will it cost?

Assessment – £125 for a 90 minute assessment. (If you have funding from the NHS or elsewhere then the fees are larger because there is more admin work attached to the assessment process.)

Therapy – Since the Tuke Centre offers a variety of therapies they do not have a fixed price, but the price will rather be determined during your initial assessment. They are sometimes able to offer reduced fees, depending on your personal and financial circumstances.

The self-referral form and leaflet about reduced fees can be found here.


York Mind

What York Mind offers

York Mind is an independent local mental health charity which aims to empower individuals experiencing mental ill health to start on the pathway to recovery. It offers a variety of services:

  1. General counselling service
  2. Peer support groups
  3. Activity groups
  4. Mentoring Project

Activity Groups – York Mind offers a wide range of therapeutic social and leisure activities that are proven to help individuals recover from mental ill-health.

Mentoring Project – The mentoring service provides one-to-one goal focussed support over a 12 week period. It aims to empower people to identify and achieve personal goals as part of their ongoing recovery from mental ill health. For more information visit

How to book an appointment

It depends on the service. For each service there is a phone number you can call or you can email them at

How long will I have to wait for my first appointment?

It depends on the services. But for the various groups there is usually no waiting period, you can just join.

How much will it cost?

The services are free. However they do ask all clients who use the General Counselling Service to make a contribution to help ensure the continuation of the service for everyone.


Qwell Counselling

What Qwell Counselling offers

Qwell is an online counselling service for adults that also offers assessments and booked chats with counsellors in York City. The service provides:

  • Themed message forums
  • Secure web-based email
  • Online magazine
  • Messaging forum with  qualified therapists
  • Themed group therapy sessions
Is the service long-term, short-term or does it offer both?

The service offers both long and short term support, however clients are reviewed regularly to ensure they are still benefiting and haven’t become dependent on the service.

How to book an appointment?

You can either drop in between 12pm and 10pm Monday to Friday and between 6pm and 10pm over the weekend. Alternatively you  can contact them to request a specific counsellor at a specific time between those hours and a booking can be made, if feasible.

How long will I have to wait for my first appointment?

There is no wait at present for an appointment – if you signed up this afternoon, for example, someone would be able to pick you up straight away and go into a session immediately.

How much will it cost?

The service is completely free – it is funded by the local authority.