Students in Distress or Crisis

I Am A Student Looking For Support

Consider making an appointment to see a counsellor - PHONE: 4903565 or EMAIL

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 9.30am-10.30am, 11am-1pm, 2.15pm-4.15pm 

Other supports available:


I Am A Student In Crisis

Student Counselling & Development  

PHONE: 4903565 (during opening hours)

CALL IN: Ardpatrick House, College Road - Next To Student Car Park: Ardpatrick Map 

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 9.30am-10.30am, 11am-1pm, 2.15pm-4.15pm 

Student Health Department:  Phone 4902311



Samaritans: Emotional support: 24 hours, Freephone 116123 ( 

Pieta House: Support for people at risk of self-harm: 24 hours, Freephone 1800 247 247

UCC General Services Security: 24 Hours, Tel: 4903111

Anglesea Street Gardaí HQ: 24 hours, Tel: 4313031

A+E Cork University Hospital: 24 hours, Tel: 4920230

South Doc (Evenings and week ends) Tel: 1850 335 999

Freephone: 1800 32 32 42
Niteline is a confidential listening service offered by students for students. Available throughout the academic year on Tues, Weds & Thurs from 9.00pm to 1.00am

Links to various external support agencies

I Am A Staff Member

Many people experience emotional and psychological difficulties at some point in their lives. Usually these can be resolved by talking them through with family and friends. Sometimes professional help is needed. Most students will cope well with the stresses of academic life given reasonable support from their friends, family and academic/administrative staff. At times though, they might need more than this. In offering a student that bit of extra assistance, it is important to help within the boundaries of what you feel competent to do.

What you can do
You can listen, you can give the student time to talk, you can understand the situation from their point of view, you can be sympathetic and not dismissive, and you can make appropriate referrals. Brief information and a flowchart available Here

Further comprehensive support and information about your role and responsibilities as a UCC staff member is available in the Student Mental Health Policy and in the UCC Child Protection Policy.

What you can't do
Although the health and welfare of the students of the college is everyone's concern, you can't solve all their problems and you can't take responsibility for their emotional state or actions.

Crisis Session
Student Counselling & Development allocates an crisis session each day, during college term, for students in acute crisis. Contact Student Counselling & Development.

Staff Support
Confidential support and counselling is available for UCC staff. Further information available here.

I Am A Parent

I have concerns about the welfare of my son/daughter. What should I do?

If you are concerned about the welfare of your son/daughter, you should encourage them to avail of support locally or with Student Support Services in College. If you believe that your son/daughter is at serious and imminent risk, you should immediately bring them to a GP or Accident & Emergency Department.

The college will do everything possible to help students in difficulty. It does not, however, assume to have parental responsibility and will offer support only if approached by the student, or if the situation is serious and staff become aware that a student may be at risk.

If you believe your son/daughter could benefit from the free and confidential services that we provide at Student Counselling & Development, you should talk to them about it and ask them to check out our website for further information.

How does my son/daughter get an appointment?

If you are concerned your son/daughter is upset and may need to talk to someone, they can Contact Student Counselling & Development. Our services are free of charge to all registered Students of University College Cork. If your son/daughter chooses to seek support at Student Counselling & Development, it is confidential. This means that without a release of information agreed/signed by your son/daughter, the service will not be able to reveal information to you about their appointments.

We do however encourage you to keep communication with your son/daughter open and ask them if they have attended or plan to attend Student Counselling & Development.

Can I talk to a counsellor if I am concerned about my son/daughter?

Student Counselling & Development staff members can talk with concerned parents in brief and in general terms about possible courses of action. Please be aware that we will not be able to tell you if your son/daughter is attending the Service if you do not already know this. Neither will we be able to divulge information about his/her wellbeing, since confidentiality is so important to our work and ensures that students feel safe to speak freely. Contact Student Counselling & Development

I am concerned that my son/daughter really dislikes their course choice. What should I do?

Lots of students find adjusting to academic work in college a struggle initially. Encourage them to stick with it week by week. If after a few weeks they seem very daunted or keen to consider changing, ask them to make contact with their Tutor/Year Head. Another resource is the Careers Service. It is better to address problems earlier rather than later so if in doubt, get them to check it out.

My son/daughter is really struggling academically. What should I do?

Encourage them to seek support as soon as possible. They can meet with a member of the academic staff from their course and consider making an appointment to see a counsellor

If there are concerns about other challenges such as dyslexia, attention deficit issues or physical / health challenges, students can also make contact with Support Services such as Student Health and the Disability Support Service.

What should my son/daughter do if something happens, they become ill, have a family crisis or bereavement?

The first thing they should do is communicate by phone or email with their course director informing them they will be unable to attend college due to a personal matter. Encourage them to seek support/care locally or within the college support services. Information on Student Counselling & Development can be found on our website. Other sources of help include Student Health and the Student’s Union Welfare Officer.

I am worried about how my son/daughter is settling in to college life but I don’t want to appear interfering. What can I do?

The key to managing this is to accept that in most cases, students do transition well to college. They settle in to become accomplished, well rounded educated adults with lots of career choices and decisions to make going forward. Be encouraging and supportive to them during their transition.

As a parent you can help by:

  • Asking how they are getting on but avoid interrogation. Gentle open ended questions such as ‘How are things going so far?’ or ‘How are you managing the academic side of things?’ can be good openers (Don’t be put off if you don’t hear too much or are told ‘fine’).
  • Reassure them that it is normal to feel anxious at the start of College life. If they seem sad, upset or irritable, check in with them by just acknowledging ‘you seem quieter is everything ok in college?’ You may be able to support/encourage them to talk to someone in College.
  • Checking the college website so you become familiar with the campus and what supports are there for students.
  • Help your son/daughter to reduce any unrealistic expectations of themselves, so they don't feel that they have to be such a high achiever that it becomes too stressful.
  • Encourage them to step back from their situation which may help them to feel less overwhelmed and to find their own solutions.
  • Students can also avail of the Peer Support Service, where a student who is familiar with college and trained in listening and support skills can meet with your son/daughter to chat things out.

I am worried about my son/daughter living away from home. What should I do?

Make sure you keep in good contact, checking in with them and encouraging them, especially while they are acclimatising to new surroundings.

Technology like e-mail, text, Skype and social media makes communication with loved ones who leave home or travel a lot easier.

Be prepared for an occasional call when they may be upset or feel they are not settling in and making friends. This will more often than not pass, so try to be reassuring.

If you feel your son/daughter is upset and needs to talk to someone, you should encourage them to avail of the Student Services that are there to help them at college. Ask them to check out this Information for details on how to access counselling supports.  

If you have serious concerns and your son or daughter is not willing or able to take any action, one option may be for you to visit your son/daughter to help him/her obtain appropriate support. A second option may be to consult a local G.P. for advice.

I am concerned my son/daughter is making mistakes and not involving me in their life?

College is a rich and diverse place. Students will meet and engage with a variety of people and experiences. They may begin to challenge the old traditional viewpoints and should be encouraged to explore their own views and perceptions even if they differ from yours in some way.

Do raise concerns and express your viewpoint, but keep the lines of communication open in a respectful and open way as much as possible.

The trick for parents is to balance their involvement with their son/daughter enough to help them develop into a confident, autonomous, self-sufficient young adult.

As a parent, it is natural you do not want your son/daughter to make mistakes. However many of us do sometimes make mistakes and learn something through this.

To assist in finding the right parental balance, take an interest in what your son/daughter is doing, while allowing some space for them to try out new things and stand on their own two feet.

If they ask for your advice, explore what their thoughts and ideas are about a subject and move towards a joint collaborative view, encouraging their decision making skills.

My son/daughter can get really stressed at exam time. Is there anything I can do to help?

Parents can encourage students to take a balanced approach to revision, taking short breaks and some exercise. Even a short walk in the middle of a study session can be helpful in managing stress. Students often fall into the trap of thinking they have ‘no time’ for breaks leaving them tired and exhausted and less well able to perform. Encourage them to make a realistic study plan and to check out the Skills Centre website for study/note-taking/essay writing skills.

Offer reassurance and practical help such as a cup of tea if they are at home, and expect they may be tired and irritable at times. Just give them as much support as they need.

My son/daughter has had some problems with mental health issues and/or gets panic attacks from time to time?

Many college students experience a range of mental health and stress related problems such as panic attacks. The support services in college are experienced in helping students that have such challenges. Encourage your son/daughter to consult the Considering Counselling, Online Supports and Useful Links sections on our website


Thanks to the Student Counselling Service in Trinity College Dublin for their valuable contribution to this page.

Student Counselling & Development

Comhairleoireacht agus Forbairt na Mac Léinn

Ardpatrick, College Road, Cork, Ireland