5.4c Medical, mental health and other general emergencies

For an acute medical problem either call 999 and use the general National Health Service (NHS) emergency services or accompany the student to the School’s health service at St Philips Medical Centre. In the case of mental health concerns, this may also be an appropriate course of action. Alternatively, contact one of the mental health and wellbeing advisers within the Student Counselling Service |or the Disability and Wellbeing Service| and/or LSE security (if concerned about personal or others’ personal safety) on ext. 666.

The  Student Counselling Service| can provide support for  students who need expert help to work through life experiences such as bereavement or loss, anxiety, depression, ongoing mental health concerns, other major life events, etc.

The Student Services Deputy Advice Manage|r can provide either advice or appropriate referral guidance on student study and exam arrangements and for problems relating to general welfare, need to travel urgently, finance and legal difficulties. The key advice in this section is please ask if in doubt.

In the event of the death of a student, the Student Services Centre has procedures for ensuring that all relevant personnel across the School (including the Director, who usually writes to the family) are informed and that records are updated and closed appropriately. The key contact for co-ordinating these procedures is the Student Services Centre’s Advice Team|.

Situation 1. The distressed student

A student is brought by her academic adviser (AA) to the departmental tutor (DT) in floods of tears and incoherent.

Suggested response: The DT first seeks to calm the student by asking them to take a seat and reassuring them that they are there to help and willing to listen. Transmitting an aura of calm professionalism is important. The student is sensitively told to take their time and say in their own words what the problem is. To say very little and 'just listen' in this situation is the advice from trained counsellors.

If the student remains distressed, they may be advised to contact the LSE Student Counselling Service. Appointments are made in advance, but each day there are also drop-in sessions available. These cannot be booked in advance and are available on a 'first come' basis: for further information call extension 3627.

Situation 2. Exam stress

A student comes to see the DT saying he is getting panic attacks when trying to study for  exams. The DT advises him to see her doctor and  get a medical note confirming these symptoms. The DT also suggests to the student that it might be beneficial to talk through his situation with the LSE Student Counselling Service and/or a Teaching and Learning Centre study adviser and/or the Mental Health and Well-being Manager in the Disability and Well-being Service (DWS).

The DT asks the student to come back for another meeting once further support has been sought to make sure that the School can properly respond the situation.

A week later, the student sees the DT again. The advice now is that he should visit the DWS and talk through his needs in more detail, as this may be a mental health disclosure covered by the DDA. This includes discussing the possibility of the School putiing special exam arrangements in place.

Suggested response: The advice to the DT is to document these exchanges and to check that the student has the necessary evidence to support his (possible) case for special exam arrangements and mitigating circumstances should that be necessary. The DT should, with the student's permission, write a brief report and copy it to the student and the Student Services Centre (SSC). The SSC will ensure that the report and any relevant evidence (which should be supplied to them direct by the student) are added to the student's personal Green File ensuring that appropriate information is held centrally. This is very important if his circumstances need to be taken into consideration at any later Student Progress Panel.