How am I Supported at the IoPPN?

Receiving the right support throughout your degree can be pivotal to your success. Now, more than ever, receiving the right support has been a vital aspect of staying motivated and persevering through such a difficult and unsettling time.

Where can I go for help?

The student services online and hubs are the one-stop-shop for directing you to the right services, whether it’s counselling and mental health support, money, housing, international student and visa queries or disability and inclusion; you can book appointments or advice drop-in sessions easily through the platform. Advice drop-ins allow you to meet with advisors to determine what type of support is needed on a case-by-case basis. You can register with the counselling and mental health support team for 1-2-1’s, group sessions and other specialist support.

At the beginning of the academic year, you are assigned a personal tutor, who is a member of staff there to help guide and point you in the right direction; personal tutors can discuss support options and any impact on your academic progress. You can also access a range of online and in-person study skills support via the Library and Linkedin Learning.

When you start at King’s, you will be provided with many resources, a crucial one being the Welcome to King’s App (which I found incredibly helpful); the app has information on how to get started with the library, IT (free office 365 for all students at King’s!) and setting up your email, completing your enrolment, finding out about your inductions and other bits and bobs on your start of year checklist. Another super helpful app is the King’s Mobile app, which has various features like careers information and guidance, locations of ChargeBoxes provided to students and staff, a guide to KCL Student Union and how you can get involved, KEATS access (King’s primary web-based online learning environment), student support, timetable, skills hub and more.

From the first day at the IoPPN I have felt supported in all the ways that I needed it; support looks different for everybody. Our course holds engagement sessions regularly, where we can voice our concerns or doubts with our programme leader and team. I have been able to postpone exams due to mitigating circumstances painlessly; I was treated in a considerate and understanding manner, which made the entire process so much less pressured. I have had the opportunity to transform my research project into a dry (non-laboratory-based) project with incredible support and guidance from my supervisor. I have been able to access the university counselling services from home with ease and reassuring communication.

The IoPPN can help support you financially, educationally and socially.

Life at King’s

Hello June! 

With exams slowly winding down and summer on the horizon, this month we are talking about life at King’s and the best ways to make the most of your time here. 

King’s has an incredibly vibrant community and plenty of teams designed to bring people together and encourage you to discover new activities and pursue your passions. These teams create amazing opportunities to engage in fun and diverse activities surrounded by likeminded people. From our personal experience engaging with some of these teams, we’ve found them to add incredible value to our university experience. Here are our top recommendations: 

Student Union

The KCLSU is the main hub for student social activities. There are around 300 different societies and student groups, which means you’re bound to find something of interest, no matter how niche your hobbies. 

This includes societies such as Harry Potter society, Fine Wine society, and Amnesty International society. These groups are great opportunities to meet other students with similar interests on a weekly basis and peruse your passions through different workshops, outings, and activities.

They also offer over 70 sports teams you can join. You’ve got your classics such as hockey, football, and rugby; and other more diverse options, such as archery, mini-golf, and surf club. You can find teams for levels of experience, and if you’re someone who likes a bit of competition, there’s always varsity to look forward to (go Lions!)

The student union also has a range of media groups you can get involved with. This includes the university newspaper (ROAR news), Strand Magazine, KCL radio, KingsTV, Photography Society, Film Society, and DJ Society, to name a few. Getting involved will give you top experience for your CV and enhance your transferable skills, all whilst meeting some really interesting people. Another major perk is that they provide free access to media equipment and specialised media spaces.

KCLSU also runs many student facilities, including student bars, cafés, and shops, all with student-friendly prices where you can relax, attend events between and after classes, and hang out with other students. At guys campus you have the Shed which is the student café, and Guy’s bar, both of which are great spots for anything from a cheap meal-deal to a crazy sports night or pub quiz!

Engaging with the student union has been one of the most valuable parts of our student experience, giving us the chance to take part in volunteering groups and societies that have helped build our CV and meet some of our closest friends!

King’s Culture Team

The King’s Culture team is an amazing part of the university that deals with all things culture – whether it is by providing art and wellbeing workshops run by artists, or developing innovative collections for the King’s Science Museum. Examples of recent events this teams has organised include French knitting workshops and National Theatre backstage tours. Some of the best evenings I have spent in uni have been learning how to make my own vinyl graffiti art or clay sculptures while getting to meet new people.

King’s Sport

University is a great place to continue embracing your active self, or if you’re like us, start from scratch. King’s Sport runs a range of activities and facilities for students to get their sweat on! They run the BeActive program through which they deliver fun social sports sessions for students and operate gyms across various campuses and residences. They also run other popular events throughout the year, such as the King’s Colour Run. The best thing is that the gyms have student-friendly membership prices, and King’s residences can access the BeActive program for free!

London

King’s is situated in the centre of one of the most vibrant and exciting capitals of the world – so make the most of it! 

There is a saying that the cheapest time to see London is as a student, and that is thanks to out many student discounts and access to free events. The beauty of the location of king’s campuses is you don’t need to travel far to explore some of the coolest things city has to offer. I’m a massive foodie, and there’s nothing better than taking a break from the library at Guy’s to browse around Borough Market and treat yourself to a delicious lunch break! You also have the National Theatre and Tate Modern just a short walk from Waterloo Campus, and Covent Garden right next to Strand.

University is not just a time for studying – it’s an opportunity for self-discovery and development, so grab all the chances you can get and make the most of this amazing time!

Mental Health Awareness

When everything is not as it was and we are all trying to figure out what our new normal is, it is more important than ever that we find a way to be kind to ourselves and others and take care of our mental health.

It is Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 and at King’s, our staff and students are working to understand mental health and we can transform care for people who are affected through, education, research and training.

Watch Dr Juliet Foster Social Psychologist, Dean of Education academic lead for mental health and wellbeing at the IoPPN  talk to  Dr Nicola Byrom senior lecturer in Psychology, director of the student mental health research network SMaRteN and founder of the Student Minds the student mental health charity discuss the need for universities to continue to focus on student mental health in the face of the pandemic

Mental health in higher education has become an area of increasing interest over recent years. With reports of a ‘student mental health crisis’ university support services have had to consider new ways to boost student wellbeing and support students at risk. 

Before coming to King’s, one of the things that drew me most was how friendly and supportive the university felt throughout the application process. As an abroad student, I wanted to make sure I was coming to a place where I felt comfortable and safe, which would allow me to thrive during my university years. I soon experienced the great ups and not so great downs of university life, and during this process, I realised just how many support systems there are in place for students at King’s. 

This mental health awareness week we want to share some of the different ways you can support your wellbeing whilst at university, particularly what support is available at King’s. Given the current situation, with students managing a great deal of uncertainty and worry, it has become more important than ever to be properly equipped and informed on how to manage our wellbeing!

Support at King’s

As we all know, our wellbeing is multifaceted and can be influenced by a million different things in our daily lives. For a student, this includes coping with independence, keeping up with academic work, struggles with finances, keeping in touch with family and friends, etc. Whatever the source of your worries may be, there are many different services you can access within the university, designed specially to help you during this experience.

  • Personal Tutor: At the beginning of first year you’ll be assigned a personal tutor who will stick with you throughout the whole of your degree. Personal tutors are normally teachers or other members of staff of the BSc Psychology department and will be your first port of call for any academic issue. They can offer tips on managing workload, writing CVs and cover letters, deferring assessments, etc. And for issues not directly related to the course, they are usually able to point you in the right direction for the appropriate support. Personally, my personal tutor has been an amazing source of help during my time at King’s, playing a crucial part in helping me find a summer internship between first and second year!
  • Student Services: For generic university advice the know-it-all’s on campus are the Student Service team. They have a desk at almost every King’s library where you can find someone ready to help with anything from module registrations, visa applications, finances and budgeting, to housing tips. 
  • King’s Counselling Services: For concerns regarding mental health, King’s offers free and confidential counselling to all undergraduate and postgraduate students. Whether you’re struggling with study-related stress, depression, anxiety, or anything else, you can request an assessment session where they will evaluate your needs and determine what the best help pathway is, whether that’s in the form of talking therapy with a university counsellor, CBT, or an external referral.
  • KCLSU Advice: Another great source of help can be found with the student union. They offer advice on anything from academic appeals to housing, health, and wellbeing. This can be accessed online, through the phone, or in person, always free and confidential.
  • The Positive Peers: Last, but by no means least, are the positive peers. Never undermine the power of peer support! Research has found that students are more likely to disclose mental health concerns with other students. We’re all on the same boat and sometimes what you need most is a chat with someone who just ‘gets it’. Positive Peers are a group of trained students at the KCLSU that run various workshops and activities to help you support your wellbeing and thrive at uni. They are also available for one-to-one chats in person or over social media.

Remember, whatever your concern, there is always someone who will be willing to listen and help. University can be a tough time, and with the addition of the current situation, things can seem overwhelming. However, as a student at King’s, you have plenty of services available designed specifically to make your journey more enjoyable. In the words of High School Musical, ‘we’re all in this together’!

If you are struggling and need support, you can get in touch with these services and organisations which offer help and support directly:

  • Talk to the Samaritans – they offer emotional 24-hour emotional support in full confidence. You can call them for free on 116 123 / jo@samaritans.org.uk
  • Shout Crisis Text Line – you can text Shout to 65258 if you are experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support
  • Rethink Mental Illness – you can call Rethink Mon-Fri 10am-2pm on 0300 5000 927 (calls are charged at your local rate) for practical advice on therapy and medication, financial issues, police, courts, prison and your rights under the Mental Health Act
  • Mind – you can call the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393 info@mind.org.uk, the Mind Legal Advice service on 0300 466 6463 legal@mind.org.uk
  • Speak to somebody you trust
  • Talk to your GP