Advice & Wellbeing

Here's some information and resources regarding Health and Wellbeing, for more information, check out Student Advice and Wellbeing's section of SOAS' website:


Registering with a Doctor:

It is important that you register with a National Health Service (NHS) General Practitioner (GP) as soon as possible on arrival in London. Otherwise you may experience difficulty in obtaining medical help when needed.


Practices near SOAS:

Gower Street Practice

Bloomsbury Surgery

Or find your local GP through the NHS website:

Also a handy tip - use Doc Ready to build a checklist before you see your GP


Students' Union Advice Centre:

The Students' Union Advice Caseworker, Susanna Montazuddin, offers a confidential advice service about health and wellbeing, academia, accommodation, finance, employment and crime.  

More information here:



SOAS Student Advice and Wellbeing counselling service: for information about this service, see and contact

External counselling:

Find a counsellor or psychotherapist near you:


Further support services:

London Nightline: a listening, support and practical information for London students, open from 6pm – 8am during term time. All volunteers are students themselves, who have undergone extensive training and who understand that university life isn’t always plain sailing. You can talk to volunteers about anything you want, in complete confidence. For more information -

Samaritans: if there’s something troubling you, you can get in touch 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

May Tree: a sanctuary in London

National Stalking Helpline and Network for Surviving Stalking

MIND mental health charity and Student Minds mental health charity

Time To Change: raising awareness about mental health and ending stigma


Self Help:

Headspace: meditiation and mindfullness app 

SAM: anxiety management app  

Smiling Mind app 

Mood Scope: tracking your mood over time



Drinking Responsibly:

It's important to be aware of the affects of alcohol consumption and of how you can drink in a way that you enjoy and feel comfortable with, and so you can mitigate against any negative consequences. 

Advice on Drinking Responsibly 



Drink Spiking is a growing problem in the UK, and other countries besdies. It is important that we are all aware of it and of what we can do to protect ourselves against it and know what to do if we think we have been spiked or if we see someone else in a vulnerable situation. Below is some information to help with this and links to further information pages and support services.


If you would ever like avdice or support in relation to spiking, or if you have any questions, please contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre at which is a confidential advice and support service. Contact Georgie at or come to our office (G8) any time. Things can also be reported anonymously on our online abuse and harassment form:


Being aware of drink spiking:

-          Never leave a drink unattended and keep an eye on friends' drinks

-          Keep your drink in hand instead of on a surface.

-          Never accept a drink from anyone you don’t know or trust.

-          Consider sticking to bottled drinks (you can also keep your thumb over the opening) and avoid punch bowls or jugs of cocktails

-          Don’t share or exchange drinks or drink leftover drinks.

-          Stay away from situations that you do not feel comfortable with.

-          Don't give out too much information to anyone you have just met, especially your address.

-          Before going out, let someone know where you're going and what time you expect to be home

-          Think about who you will inform if you think your drink is spiked and who where you can seek support from.

-          Make plans for your journey home

-          Avoid taking expensive equipment with you or anything that could be a target for thieves

-          If you think your drink has been tampered with, don't drink it – tell a trusted friend or relative and staff immediately

-          Remember that if you have already been drinking you will be more vulnerable, because alcohol dulls your instincts and your awareness of danger.


If you think your drink may have been spiked:

If in SOAS, inform your close friends and Bar / security or Union staff as soon as possible. If you are not in SOAS, inform your close friends who you trust, you can go with them to inform staff. Stay with your friends, do not be on your own. If you aren’t with any close friends call someone you trust and get to a safe place. Ask to use a phone if yours has been stolen. If you need urgent help, call 999. Be wary of accepting help from a stranger and don’t leave with someone you don’t know.

Go to the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) service to test for spiking drugs in your system - tell the medical staff that you think your drink has been spiked. Arrange for a trusted friend or relative to take you home and stay with you until the drugs have fully left your system. If drugs are found in your system you can report this to the police who will conduct an investigation.


Support Services:

Students’ Union Advice Centre which provides a confidential advice and support service: You can also come and see us in person in office G8 or G7 any time, it’s always open.

SOAS Student Advice & Wellbeing, which includes a counselling service. Contact: Phone: 020 7074 5015. Based in V302 (Vernon Square).

Information about external counselling services can be found here:

Call 999 in an emergency. Find here the NHS Accident & Emergency Services (A&E) If you want to report a crime anonymously you can call Crimestopper

For advice and support you can see a doctor or practice nurse at your GP surgery, or a sexual health clinic. Or call NHS 111, which is the non-emergency helpline.

Rape Crisis: sexual assault support for self-identifying women with centres across London

Galop: London’s LGBT anti-violence & abuse charity

Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre Freephone Helpline: 0808 802 9999


If you think someone else’s drink has been spiked:

If you see someone whose drink you think may have been spiked, you should stay with them. Inform staff but do not leave them alone the person alone, either take them with you or ask a trusted friend to inform staff. Even if a member of staff or someone claiming to be the person’s friend tells you to leave the person with them, stay with the person, as you do not know whether they can be trusted.

Take them to the nearest A&E service or call an ambulance. Make sure that they are tested for drugs spiking.

This advice applies to helping someone who is in a vulnerable situation even though they haven’t been spiked, for example due to overconsumption of alcohol or other substances. You should always help someone in such a vulnerable situation, whether or not this is due to spiking.


Symptoms of Spiking:

The symptoms of being spiked differ depending on the drug that is used, but will usually include:

  • lowered inhibitions
  • difficulty concentrating or speaking
  • loss of balance and finding it hard to move
  • visual problems, particularly blurred vision
  • memory loss (amnesia) or "blackouts"
  • feeling confused or disorientated, particularly after waking up (if you've been asleep)
  • paranoia (a feeling of fear or distrust of others)
  • hallucinations or having an "out of body" experience
  • nausea and vomiting
  • unconsciousness

NHS information on spiking can be found here


This webpage was last updated on: 18 Sep 2015 11:55