Supporting a friend or family member

You may be concerned about a friend or family member studying at the University of Wolverhampton. This may be because of a significant change in their behaviour, a lack of motivation, a change in their level of engagement with their course (for example, not working enough or working too hard), or other choices that the person is making that you feel may not be in their best interests.

The first thing we would advise is that it is okay, and often very helpful, to tell the person that you are concerned about them. It can be reassuring just to be reminded that you care. It can also be helpful if you ask them to consider how they have coped with similar situations in the past or what they might advise someone else in their position to do.

Remind them it can take time to build contacts and connections, but that these are important. Perhaps suggest they join a society, try one of our numerous social sports, or ask another student on their course to have a coffee.

If you are the parent, guardian or carer of someone studying with us, we understand that you want your daughter or son to feel able to achieve their best. Coming to university can be a big adjustment, both for your child and for you.

All new students will each have various thoughts and feelings during these early weeks at university. This is quite natural – transitions and changes evoke many different reactions. Like anyone else, students can encounter personal or work-related challenges; it is not uncommon for students to have periods when they feel homesick and unsure about their choices or find it difficult as they adjust to university life without their usual support networks.

Our students have access to many different types of support during their time at the University, and you may wish to encourage your friend or family member to access these. 

ASK@WLV is the first point of contact for all student queries and support. Students can help themselves to lots of helpful information in e:Vision ( and log a Helpcall if they need further support. They can speak to someone on the phone by calling: 01902 518 518, or speak to someone on campus at an ASK@WLV Helpdesk. Find out more: 

Each student will have been allocated a personal tutor or academic coach if they are still in their first year that can provide academic and pastoral support. They can find their contact details in e:Vision. 

University support services

If you have serious concerns, please encourage your friend or family member to seek support. In this situation, you can:

If you are a student here yourself, perhaps concerned about a friend or flatmate, make sure that you look after your own wellbeing when supporting your friend. 

Being a friend to someone – for example, offering to take them out for a coffee, and giving them opportunities to talk about how they are feeling – can be very helpful for someone. However, you should not feel pressured to start offering levels of support which you are not qualified to provide. This is where you need to make sure you are encouraging your friend to access the specialist mental health support services, both inside and outside the University, which are there to help them. 

If you are a student who is finding it difficult to support a friend, remember that our support services are here as much for you as for your friend and you are welcome to register with our Mental Health and Wellbeing team to support yourself.

As a university, we are limited in what information we would be able to share with you about one of our students, even when the student you are concerned about is a family member or close friend of yours. This is to protect our students’ privacy, ensure we are working in accordance with data protection legislation and also because it can discourage students from talking to support services in the university if they feel that their information will be shared beyond the university. This extends to confirming the student status of an individual; in most circumstances, we cannot confirm to a third party whether a person is a current student or not. We realise that this may be frustrating, but hope you appreciate the reasons for this.

If you contact us about concerns you have about your friend or family member, we may be able to provide you with some general advice about the kinds of support available to students, which you can then share. In some circumstances, we may be able to contact the student and let them know that you have been in touch with us.