Look After Your Mate

Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. We empower students with the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health and support others through our national network of university groups. One conversation at a time, we will transform the state of student mental health.


We know that most students talk to their friends when they are having a tough time.

We can talk to friends in confidence and they help us to keep challenges in perspective. The truth is that although university can be awesome, life’s curveballs still get thrown at us and in these situations we really need our mates to be there for us. Friendship can play a key role in helping someone live with or recover from any difficulties they are facing. But it can be hard to know what to say when a friend is struggling.

We will be running ‘Look After Your Mate’ workshops throughout the year to give you the necessary tips and tools to support a friend in need.

The workshop includes:

Key practical tips for supporting a friend

● Spotting signs in a friend

● How to start a conversation

● How to support a friend: Listening and learning.

● Signposting to support

● Looking after your own wellbeing as a supporter

Best of all, the workshop is FREE!!!

Upcoming dates:

Check out our WHAT'S ON page for upcoming events and training opportunities! 

Sunderland Students’ Union have teamed up with Student Minds to share the ‘Look After Your Mate’ campaign, which aims to give more students across the UK the knowledge, confidence and skills they need to support their friends at university. There are lots of ways you can get involved:

  • Read Up: Read and share the Student Minds 'Look After Your Mate' Guide, incorporating student stories as well as practical tips on supporting a mate.
  • On-Campus Campaigning: The campaign resources aim to provide students, Student Minds groups, Student Unions and university staff with everything you need to run the Look After Your Mate Campaign at your institution. Make sure you register your campaign before you get started!
  • Digital Campaigning: Take part in the next Twitter chat, share content through social media, write a blog or create a video to share your story.

Why focus on friends?

We know that the state of student mental health is a pressing issue. We also know that students’ interactions with one another are key to changing attitudes and behaviours around mental health.

  • Students rely on students: Students are most likely to speak to friends when they are experiencing difficulties. Day-to-day supervision of students experiencing difficulties most often falls on housemates. 
  • Students make a difference: Good social networks and peer contacts have a protective influence against mental health difficulties. In a recent study, support from family and friends was the most often cited reason for why students decided to remain in HE. 
  • Students are key to unpicking stigma: In our latest Grand Challenges research several key challenges identified by students relate to peer relationships and the impact of stigma: fear of being judged, finding the confidence to tell people you have a mental health problem or are struggling, mental health problems are seen as a weakness, loneliness.


Check out some of the feedback from students who have attended 'Look After Your Mate' events!

"The workshop was freat, I loved it! I got a lot of information that's going to help me look after my mate and also in my personal life, my way to deal with people will change."

"Really well put together, engaging and it has a fun element to it. Delivery was really good and group interaction was great for opening up discussion."

"It was great, very informative!"

"The trainers were FAB!! They made the workshop worth it, their energy and communication style was great."

"Insightful. Would recommend for it to be delivered as a lecture."

"Fantastic workshop. I really enjoyed listening to other people's views and reinforcing what I have previously learned."

"The SU staff were great at delivering the training and very friendly and helpful."