Accessibility statement


For issues or problems which go beyond your experience or knowledge, signpost your supervisee to other sources of help, advice and support.

There are legitimate boundaries to the supervisor role - you should know who to refer students on to.

Supporting Students: a guide for staff (PDF , 222kb)

Session checklist

To help signpost your supervisee, we advise:

  • You should be aware of services offered including support for:
  • The Open Door Team provide mental health support for students and can give advice if a student you are concerned about is reluctant to seek help. They can provide a service overview to your department and training on mental health or psychological provision. Email
  • You should be familiar with other sources of support available to students for key areas of their life at University including:
  • Referring your supervisee on to others does not mean your involvement ends there. Although confidentiality may prevent your being kept fully informed, you will need to make sure your department is aware of the referral so they can share in the support work required.
  • The University has responsibilities around confidentiality and data protection, even when talking to students' family and friends.
  • While there is often a temptation to become very personally involved in a student’s problems, there are legitimate boundaries to the levels of involvement you should undertake.
  • Don’t feel you have to deal with any issue or problem alone; use the support services for advice if you are unsure of where to refer a student to and remember the Confidential Care external professional support provided to staff at the University.


By being able to signpost your supervisees to the right professional support or sources of information, you will be helping them to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Whether self-help resources or professional services, getting the appropriate support early improves the chances of students staying at the University and doing well in their studies, promoting both retention and academic success.
  • You can offer reassurance about help available and explain what to expect from the various University student support services. This should encourage your students to seek the right help to maintain their studies or get them back on track if they are struggling.
  • Your supervisees will not know the University as well as you do, especially first year students. By directing them to support for all aspects of their life at university, you can help them make the most of their time at York and achieve their full potential, both academically and personally.
  • Being aware of support available means you will be more confident in referring any issues, problems or requests for information to the right people and services – students then benefit from the professional support or advice on offer much quicker.