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Managing Distressed Students

When faced with a distressed student, it can be easy for colleagues to feel overwhelmed or take on too much. Our Managing Distressed Students training is relevant to all student-facing colleagues and builds confidence about responding to a distressed student in a boundaried, role-appropriate and effective way.

When we are with a student who is distressed, we need to be supportive. But it is also important, both for the student and for our own wellbeing, that we do not go beyond the boundaries of our role.

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Prices start from:


£70 + VAT for an individual to attend a session of this training

£995 + VAT for a dedicated session for your own team or university


Our Managing Distressed Students training can be delivered in a range of formats according to your needs.

Our training helps us get the balance right. It considers the nature of distress and the way in which a student might present. We explore a range of practical skills you need to best respond to a distressed student – whether in-person or in the context of remote working and study. We also cover how to respond to a student who presents at a higher level of risk – such as a student who mentions suicide.

This training is focused on providing staff in higher education institutions, as well as other student-facing staff in other organisations operating within the higher education sector, with a clear, practical understanding of how to respond to a distressed student.

You can access Managing Distressed Students training in three ways

  • Training for student-facing colleagues
    Our most popular training courses for colleagues working with students are: ■ Managing Distressed Students (½-day or 1-day) ■ Why Boundaries Matter for Personal Tutors ■ Mental Health Awareness in an HE Context ■ Handling Tricky Student Situations ■ Personal Safety & De-escalation ■ Managing Student Safeguarding Disclosures ■ Coaching Skills when Working 1 :1 with Students More specific courses focus on particular mental health issues in the context of higher education - such as emotionally unstable personality disorder (sometimes called borderline personality disorder) and self-harm, which can lead to complex cases, if not managed effectively. All our training focuses on practical skills to support students in boundaried and role-appropriate ways. Without clear boundaries, students feel uncontained and are less likely to access the specialist support they need, and colleagues can start to feel that their own wellbeing is affected. We also facilitate peer case discussions to give colleagues a space to reflect on tricky cases they have managed in the past and inform future practice.
  • Training for managers
    We support HE managers and management teams with training on: ■ Lead/Designated Safeguarding Officer Training (2-day) ■ Safeguarding Training for Executive/Governing Bodies ■ Effective Management of a Student Death: Policy & Practice ■ Managing Serious Student Incidents ■ Effective 'Fitness to Study' Policies & Processes ■ The Challenges of Managing Specialist Student Support Teams ■ Managing & Experiencing Change ■ Managing Distressed Staff: For Line-Managers & HR Managers We specialise in training on challenging topics, such as student death scenarios, and on areas of work, such as safeguarding, where HE responsibilities differ significantly from those of schools and FE providers and can have professional registration implications. Our work with HE managers at all levels can take the form of training events, workshops, Governing Body or SMT briefings, and management team away days. Training can be delivered as a standalone activity or combined with consultancy support, such as management coaching, a case/incident review, a policy review, or a service review.

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