Student Disability Service

Mental Health and Autism Spectrum Mentor Support

An overview of the support available to students whose studies are affected by long term mental health and/or Autism related conditions.

The Mental Health Mentors (MHM) and Autistic Spectrum Mentors (ASM) within the Student Disability Service (SDS) provide support to students with long term mental health and/or Autism related conditions. Support is available to students studying at all degree levels.

The focus of MHM/ASM support is on student academic progression (including perfectionism, procrastination, time-management) as well as well-being strategies including sleep hygiene, healthy eating, exercise regimes and relaxation techniques.

The MHM/ASM will NOT act as a therapist or counsellor and will signpost students to appropriate external agencies for additional and alternative support as required.

Students self-refer to the SDS providing suitable medical evidence as indicated in the online guidance - https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-disability-service/students/evidence

New students can expect to receive the following pattern of sessions, though each student’s support will be assessed on an individual basis:

Summary of sessions:

  • Session 1 – Introduction, further explanation of mentoring support and planning.
  • Sessions 2 & 3 – Commencement of support, rapport and trust building. Assess future support requirements
  • Sessions 4 onwards – fortnightly sessions for academic progression and well-being support.

Mentor appointments will be tailored to the specific needs of students and will include one or  more of the following:

  • Office based face to face appointments
  • Walking appointments
  • Skype/Zoom appointments
  • Telephone appointments

Supplementary support can be available to students through a variety of facilitated peer support groups.