We want you to make the most of your time here at the RVC and the Advice Centre aims to support you in a number of ways.

As a student, looking after your physical health and mental well-being is important to help you reach your potential and to enable you to fulfil the expectations of The Royal Veterinary College Charter. The Advice Centre staff aim to support you throughout your journey at the RVC and we will help to signpost you to the many internal and external support services available around the College to help you manage your well-being throughout your time here.

The NHS website Student Health has lots of information and tips for living a healthy student life, including information about eating well, stress, smoking, alcohol in moderation, drugs, sexual health and general wellbeing.

You can refer to NHS Choices under 'find local services' for details of your nearest GP practice that you can register with. Just type in your postcode and you can find the nearest doctor or dentist to your accommodation.

The RVC Student Union is run by and for our students and they offer a fantastically wide range of clubs, societies and activities.  They organise free exercise classes for students throughout the year and provide a range of opportunities to get you moving.  The SU Wellbeing page highlights a range of welfare services to help you during your time at university.

The new Sports and Wellbeing Centre (SAWC) opened in May 2017 at the Hawkshead campus and welcomes all RVC students and staff to make use of their modern and state-of-the-art facilities. You will need to complete a brief 2-part induction once you have enrolled which will enable you to access the SAWC which was designed to appeal to a range of individuals, including those who are not usually attracted to the more traditional aspects of gyms and sports centres. Fitness First Camden

Paying for NHS Costs

If you are under 19 and in full-time education you will not have to pay for NHS costs. If you’re aged 19 or over and receive NHS treatment you’ll be asked to pay for prescriptions and some health care services (including eye tests and dental work) unless you meet certain NHS exemption criteria. You may be able to claim assistance towards the cost of these NHS treatments  on the basis of low income by using an HCI formPlease bear in mind that you will have to disclose income information if you apply but you may well qualify for at least partial support as a student.

International Students and the NHS

Non-UK European Economic Area (EEA) students should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before coming to the UK to ensure access to NHS services. As an EEA student you are required to hold comprehensive sickness insurance throughout your period of residence in the UK. Having a valid EHIC issued by an EEA member state (other than the UK) satisfies this requirement. 

Since 6 April 2015, any Tier 4 student (and dependants) who are making a new visa application for more than 6 months are being asked to pay the NHS surcharge, or Immigration Health Surcharge.  For students the fee is £150 per year (and per dependent). It is expected that the total surcharge amount for the whole period of the visa granted is payed upfront at the visa application stage.

Tier 4 students who are here for less than 6 months are advised to secure private medical insurance before they travel to the UK since seeing a doctor or accessing healthcare in the UK will be charged at the point of usage.  Please note that Accident and Emergency (A&E) department will treat all patients who require urgent care without charge, but you will have to pay for any further treatment as a private patient.

Visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website for additional information regarding healthcare in the UK for international students. 

Mental Wellbeing

Here at the RVC Advice Centre, we recognise that the student experience can be overwhelming and mental health issues can make a challenging experience even more so. Having mental health difficulties may be more common than you think. A YouGov report (in 2016) uncovered that one in four students have suffered from poor mental health during their time at university. It also found that more than 50% of students know between one and five people that suffer from a mental illness, compared with just eight per cent who know no-one with mental health problems.

According to the report,  depression and anxiety are by far the most common mental health issues, with nearly three-quarters of students who are suffering with a mental health problem, reporting both. What's more, of the students who said they suffered with mental health issues, nearly half reported that these problems affected their ability to complete daily tasks, with four per cent of those surveyed saying that even the simplest tasks were beyond them.

You should always contact your GP first if you have any concerns about mental health.  There are local services near Camden and in Hertfordshire that your GP can refer you to or you can self-refer.

You can also:

  • Contact someone in the Advice Centre (advice@rvc.ac.uk).
  • Access SilverCloud, an online service providing support for issues such as depression, anxiety, self-image and stress.
  • Self-refer to our counselling service via counselling@rvc.ac.uk or even your tutor, who can all listen, advise and refer you to appropriate services. 

Where to go for help:

The Samaritans are a fantastic source of support and can offer assistance 24 hours seven days a week on 116 123

Nightline is a confidential listening, support and information service run for students by students. They are available from 6pm to 8am every night during term. 

Student Minds is the UK's student mental health charity and they work to empower students to develop the skills and knowledge to look after their own mental health and to help others do the same. 

Mental Health Foundation offers a wealth of resources to access including podcasts for your wellbeing, a mental health A-Z, and information on mindfulness.

NHS Moodzone offers practical advice, interactive tools, videos and audio guides to help you feel mentally and emotionally better.  Here are the links for their audio guides:

I already have a mental health diagnosis, what support can I get?

In addition to your GP and specialist NHS support services; if you have a diagnosed mental health condition that has been present or is likely to be present, for 12 months or more, you are eligible for further support to help you manage your mental health condition alongside your study. This support is likely to include mentoring.

If you are a UK student, this support is provided by the via the Disabled Students Allowance. If you are an international student this support is provided by the RVC. For further information about how to apply for support for your mental health, please contact the Advice Centre: disability@rvc.ac.uk

Helping a Friend

Making new friends is a big part of university life.  Supporting friends who feel vulnerable or ask you for help can feel overwhelming at times and it's important you look after your own mental well-being too. Student Minds have a great resource to help you to help your friends.  Take a look at their Look After Your Mate resource for practical tips and guidance.  You can also contact a member of the Advice Centre team if you are concerned about a friend or would like support yourself - advice@rvc.ac.uk.

Physical Wellbeing at Camden

Students who are not already registered with a doctor in the London area must register as soon as possible.

The James Wigg Practice is on site during Induction/Freshers week to make it easier for you to do so.  The following local practices all provide access to a range of NHS services including medical and dental clinics, mental health therapies and urgent care provision. 

The University of London Central Institutions Health Service will register students attending college close to the practice in late September and early October. Please follow this link for additional information regarding this practice:  20 Gower Street Practice

Students living at Mary Brancker House and College Grove may consider registering with: James Wigg Practice  OR  Caversham Group Practice

Call 111 for any out of hours urgent medical needs.

If you have a medical emergency call 999

The Camden Campus also has a gym on site which is free to use for all students after they have completed the required safety induction.  Please check the RVC SAWC Facebook page for dates and times. 

Camden students may also join one of the RVC's various sporting clubs and participate in training sessions and games at the Hawkshead campus on Wednesday afternoons. Please see the RVCSU webpage for more details.  

In addition to the services available at the RVC, there are a range of fitness and wellbeing facilities accessible to students in the Camden area which include the following: 

Student Central offers many opportunities to make friends, have fun and get the most out of university life

Soho Gym, Camden

Fitness First, Camden

Hyde Park Stables

Trent Park riding stables in north London - easily accessible from Potters Bar (298 bus) and Camden (Cockfosters tube station)

Physical Wellbeing at Hawkshead

Students who are not already registered with a doctor in the Hawkshead Campus area must register as soon as possible.

All students must register with a local GP practice. Those living on campus or locally may wish to register with The Parkfield Medical Centre in Potters Bar. This practice comes on site once a term to offer you a chance to register and ask general questions. They also open early (7am) some weekday mornings and are open some Saturdays mornings so you can fit appointments around classes and rotations.

Other alternatives in Potters Bar are the Highview Medical Centre and the Annandale Medical Centre which share the same building.

Call 111 for any out of hours urgent medical needs.

If you have a medical emergency call 999

The Hawkshead campus is home to the new RVC SAWC which provides our students with up-to-date and modern equipment, facilities and classes.  Keep up to date on their Facebook page for the latest news and activities.

In addition there are ample sports facilities at the Hawkshead Campus including tennis courts, as well as many sports clubs for you to join.  Please visit the RVCSU section for more information.

There is also a local leisure centre which currently offers discounted Gym membership for RVC Students: Furzefield Leisure Centre

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