Anxiety UK to launch new student support package

October 9th, 2015

Anxiety UK- the UK’s leading anxiety charity- is launching a new ‘Student Guide to Understanding Anxiety’, along with a specialised Student Support Package to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

This week, it has been reported that an increasing number of students are in need of therapy due to rising stress and anxiety levels. A report by the NUS in 2013 stated that 20% of students experience mental health difficulties whilst at university; however this figure is known to be increasing on an annual basis.

However, this is not solely a university issue; there has been an increase generally in common mental health issues nationwide such as stress and anxiety which has placed additional demand on already overstretched NHS services. This coupled with rising demand for university counselling support services has meant that immediate access to such services for students experiencing anxiety, depression and stress is not possible.

Nicky Lidbetter, Chief Executive of Anxiety UK said: “We know that students are often most in need of support 4-6 weeks after starting university. Indeed colleagues at the Emergency Department at Manchester Royal Infirmary report that they see the highest instances of self-harm, suicidal thoughts, feelings and attempts amongst students at this time. Students often find themselves struggling after the initial ‘honeymoon period’ in higher education due to experiencing issues such homesickness, loneliness and disillusionment with the notion of the ‘university experience’.”

In response to this growing need, Anxiety UK is launching a new ‘Student Guide to Understanding Anxiety’ which offers information and advice to students in higher education who are living with or experiencing an anxiety related condition including stress, depression and anxiety. The guide will be available to download from the Anxiety UK website from 12-16th October inclusive as part of the charity’s programme of activities to mark World Mental Health Day (Saturday 10th October 2015).

Alongside the guide, Anxiety UK is launching a new Student Membership offer; one of the benefits of this is to put students in touch with a network of ‘Approved Anxiety UK therapists’ ensuring timely access to support.

Anxiety UK launch ‘Katharine and Harold Fisher Anxiety Research Fund’

October 6th, 2015

Peer support for people with Anxiety

The Institute of Mental Health has been successful in securing funding from Anxiety UK’s ‘Katharine and Harold Fisher Anxiety Research Fund’ to further develop peer support training for people with Anxiety.

This exciting research project starts on 1 October and will help to further understand what peer support should look like for people who are unable to attend traditional face to face groups or training because of their anxiety.

Nicky Lidbetter, Chief Executive, Anxiety UK commented: “We are delighted that the Institute has been appointed to deliver this important research project in the first year of the Katharine and Harold Fisher Anxiety Research Fund’s existence. We very much look forward to working with the Peer Support Team over the next year and seeing the outcomes make a difference in the future to those living with and affected by anxiety.”

Peer support is commonly defined as ‘offering and receiving help, based on a shared understanding, respect and mutual empowerment between people in similar situations’. Benefits of peer support have included greater empowerment, confidence and self-esteem for those receiving the support as well as for the peer supporters themselves.

The Institute runs an accredited course for peer supporters, which organisations such as, NHS Trusts and charitable organisations access. The course focuses on recovery and peer support and helps learners to develop skills such as active listening and problem solving and gives them the chance to share their experiences.

Marissa Lambert, Education Practice Consultant at the Institute commented: “Participants describe the course as ‘life-changing’ with positive impacts on self-confidence and self-esteem as well as being a route back to work and helping others.”

“We are conscious however, that our peer support group training sessions, and other self-help groups, potentially exclude people with anxiety disorders that prevent them from attending group activities. Many people have anxieties that make it difficult for them to leave their house for training or support.”

Martin Orrell, Director of the Institute says: “To receive funding for this important piece of work is an excellent achievement for Marissa and the Institute’s Peer Support Team. The project supports our long term aim of co-producing with people who access our services as well as working in partnership with Anxiety UK, bringing together national expertise around anxiety and peer support.”

The project will run for one year and throughout that time, the Peer Support Team will work alongside the Institute’s Research Support and Evaluation Team to review the current knowledge about effective support and training methods for people who experience anxiety.

Service users will be central to the project and will be invited to undertake an online survey as well as get involved with more in-depth interviews to explore their perceptions of peer support, and any barriers and facilitators to its success and quality.

Marissa says: “We value opportunities to share good practice and encourage conversations and this project does just that. We aim to produce meaningful outcomes and hope that our findings will influence future practice, and therefore help to provide people with anxiety the same opportunities to access support from their peers.”


Trustee with accountancy and finance skills required

September 28th, 2015

Anxiety UK is seeking to recruit a Trustee with accountancy and finance skills to join board of AUK. Any interested candidates must be able to travel to Manchester. For further information please contact Nicky Lidbetter by email to

Our Twitter Feed

Join Our Network
SSL Certificate