Keeping Healthy While You Study
This page includes information, advice and useful links related to keeping healthy while you are studying.
Drugs and alcohol
It is important to get out and enjoy yourself whilst studying in London, but students should also think about the implications of having too much alcohol or taking drugs.
If you are worried about the effects of alcohol or drugs on you, or the amount you are taking, you can contact your doctor, the Health Adviser or the Mental Health Adviser by telephoning 020 7514 6251 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Drinkaware website includes information on the effects of alcohol, what alcohol units are, and provides advice on how to drink safely.
Drinkline (0800 917 8282) is a confidential helpline for those concerned about their own, or someone else’s, drinking, and can advise on how to access local support services.
The NHS Live Well website has specialised information on drugs, with support for giving up and a list of addiction support services.
FRANK is a confidential helpline for anyone in the UK concerned about drug use.
Students who would like help in quitting smoking should ask at their GP practice. GPs can provide free Nicotine products and one to one support.
More information is available on the NHS website.
Food may be the last thing on your mind if you are living on a tight budget with a hectic lifestyle. However, making sure you eat properly can improve your concentration, energy, motivation, emotions and your general health.
The University’s Commonplace website includes a wide range of recipes and useful cooking tips.
Students who think that they have an unhealthy relationship with food should seek help early. Please contact a Health Adviser on 020 7514 6251.
Beat is a charity providing information and help on all aspects of eating disorders.
The National Eating Disorders Association also provides a network of self help and support groups to those affected by eating disorders.
Brook offers free confidential advice on sex and contraception. You can also telephone them on 0800 0185 023.
The NHS Contraception guide provides information about the different types of contraception and how to get them. If you have put yourself at risk of pregnancy Emergency Contraception is available from your GP, Walk-In clinics and family planning clinics free of charge. The NHS also provides information on where to get emergency contraception.
If you find yourself pregnant and it was not planned you will need to talk things through with someone you trust. Ultimately the decision about what to do is yours, and it is important to make the right decision for yourself. Whatever you decide, you can also contact the Health Adviser to talk things through. You can email email@example.com or telephone 020 7514 6251. The sexual health charity FPA provides information about unplanned pregnancies, which you can read to review your options, including abortion.
In most cases it is possible to continue with a course or take some time out to have a baby and return at a later date. You need to speak to your tutor about this, and your options will depend on what stage of the course you are at, when your baby is due, and what help and support you will have afterwards.
If the pregnancy is straight-forward it is usually possible to continue attending college until a few weeks before the baby is born. However, many students will feel tired towards the end of their pregnancy and wish to take some time out. Some course subjects may also use chemicals that should not be handled during pregnancy.
Students should not return to a course within 2 weeks of having a baby and most students will need a lot longer to recover, to deal with sleepless nights and to care for their baby. If however, there is good support in place, and there is someone who will look after your baby, then it may be possible to return after a few weeks.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
There has been a significant increase in the incidence of STIs in the past few years. The only way to prevent many of these infections is to use a condom when having sex. Condoms can be obtained free of charge from GPs, family planning clinics and sexual health clinics.
If you have had unprotected sex and are concerned about your sexual health you can go to a sexual health clinic for a check-up.
There is information about STIs including HIV and on where to find a nearby sexual health clinic on the NHS website.
The Terence Higgins Trust is the UK's leading charity providing support, information and advice on HIV and Aids. Their Helpline number is: 0808 802 1221.
Gender identity and sexual orientation
There is a LGBTQ Student Network co-ordinated by the Student’s Union at UAL, which creates opportunities for students to socialise, get support from fellow students and lead on LGBT–related campaigns both within UAL and nationally.
Further information and support on sexual orientation and gender identity is available in the Diversity section.