Student Assistance Programme

Health Assured

Your free 24 hour confidential helpline and app available for all Keele students.

In addition to all other University support services, Keele University is working with Health Assured to enable all students to access to a 24 hour confidential helpline and digital resources to help you through any of life’s issues or problems. This service is sometimes called a ‘Student Assistance Programme’.

Sometimes it can be difficult to balance the pressures of studying and home life. Health Assured provide caring support to both you and your immediate family – find out more about it in the frequently asked questions below.

Free 24 hour confidential helpline:
0800 028 3766

Health Assured has also set up a dedicated University helpline to support anyone who is struggling with their mental health as a result of ongoing events in the Middle East.

Call Health Assured for free on 0800 783 8390.

Your call will be handled by an experienced therapist or advisor, who will offer support in a friendly, non-judgemental manner.

You can contact them about issues such as:

Stress and anxiety | Counselling | Low mood | Family issues | Bereavement | Financial wellbeing | Childcare support | Relationship advice | Domestic abuse | Legal information | Medical information | Tenancy and housing concerns | Alcohol and drug issues | Consumer issues

You can also download the 'Wisdom' app on your device. You just need to enter Keele’s unique code when prompted. To view the code, visit this web page (simply enter your 5 digit Keele username and password to view the page).

Alongside the app, you can also access features via the Health Assured Online Portal. To do this, you will need Keele's username and password - i.e. all students use the same portal username and password to log in. To view the code, visit this web page (simply enter your 5 digit Keele username and password to view the page). 

General FAQs about Health Assured

This is a confidential platform designed to help you deal with problems that could be affecting your home or student life, health, and general wellbeing. The helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year. 

As well as all Keele students, your immediate family can access it too. This includes partners and dependents*, who can access the telephone helpline, and also take part in structured telephone counselling.

*Health Assured defines dependents as living in the same household, aged 16 to 24 and in full time education.

• Comprehensive telephone helplines available 24/7
• Formal counselling, in the form of either face to face or telephone sessions (as applicable)
• Online video counselling and online CBT (as applicable)
• Online portal
•Wisdom app
• Critical incident support

Health Assured provide emotional support and practical guidance. The counsellors on the helpline will triage and provide early interventions. You can take advantage of structured counselling, or use the helpline to work through your current situation.

Not at all. Health Assured can provide additional support for a variety of personal matters, such as:
• Personal legal information or tax support
• Family issues, including childcare and eldercare
• Housing and tenancy concerns
• Bereavement or loss
• Relationships and marital changes
• Medical information

Trauma-trained counsellors focus on solving an immediate and identifiable problem, enabling you to return to your daily routine quicker. If you require follow-up support, we are able to provide counselling across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

We understand that the information available needs to be accessible whenever you require it. The 'Wisdom' app for Android  and IOS and Online Portal feature a range of tools available 24/7:

• 4 week plans
• Mini health checks
• Wellbeing videos including BrightTV
• Weekly mood trackers*
• Personalised newsfeed*
• Wellbeing articles
• Financial assessment calculators**
• Factsheets**
• Medical information**
• And much more!

*This feature is currently available on the My Health Advantage app only.
**This feature is currently available on the Online Portal only.

FAQs about calling the helpline

• All calls are confidential between the caller and their counsellor or advisor
• Exceptions can occur only if there is serious risk of harm to the caller or others
• In such circumstances, the counsellor will always seek guidance before breaching confidentiality
• Analytical usage data may be shared with your university (excluding identifying factors)

When the time feels right, you may feel the need to reach out for emotional or practical support. Health Assured know how difficult it can be to take those first steps. Their qualified and experienced counsellors are ready to listen and provide guidance.

You may be looking for practical advice. Health Assured have qualified legal advisors who will assist with any legal matters.

The service is available 24/7, 365 days, so help is always available at a time which suits you.

  1. A qualified counsellor or legal advisor will answer. If it’s your first call, they’ll ask for the name of your university, and your contact details. Health Assured use this information to get you set up and ready on their system.
  2. If you’ve called before, they’ll ask you some security questions. These are simply – your date of birth or postcode. Data security is important, so you must answer these correctly to continue.
  3. They’ll then ask what your call relates to. This is to make sure you get the right support as quickly as possible. If a counsellor answers, and you need legal advice, they will transfer you to an advisor and vice versa. In the unlikely event that the appropriate counsellor or advisor is unavailable, they’ll arrange a call-back at the best time for you.

Health Assured counsellors use a proactive approach to supporting you. They will provide you with space and time to talk about your concerns and provide guidance and mindfulness techniques that will help you in the present.

A few simple changes are often enough to make a world of difference. The counsellors may suggest useful resources that will help you to make those changes – you may feel that this is enough. At the end of the call, the counsellor will explain the options available to you moving forward.

You can choose to simply call back if you would like to talk again or if you would like to explore the option of structured counselling, the counsellor will offer to complete a clinical assessment with you. This isn’t as drastic as it might sound – it takes around 20 minutes and the questions asked will ensure you get the best support possible. The clinical assessment can also be completed at a time best for you.

Counsellors are available 24/7, 365.

Health Assured advisors have the same proactive approach as the counsellors. They’re experts in legal processes, obligations and liabilities. They’ll listen to your issues, and offer guidance on the best way to proceed.

While the advisors aim to resolve your issues in-house, sometimes they’ll need to direct you to other resources. This is so you can be sure you’re receiving the most appropriate advice.

Advice is available 24/7, 365.

The Health Assured Student Assistance Programme is confidential. In order to provide the best service, however, counsellors and advisors will ask for a few details. They’ll need your name, address, contact number and date of brith. They’ll also ask you if it’s OK to leave a voicemail, or send you an SMS – it’s fine to say no to these.

Health Assured treat your data with total confidence. All employees are bound by ethical and legal frameworks and the service is ISO 27001 accredited.

Health Assured provide a confidential service. They won’t contact your college or university when you call the helpline.

In most cases, no. Health Assured would only need to share information if:
• They believed that someone else is at risk of serious harm
• They were told about acts of terrorism or bomb warnings
• You asked them to get you help because you can’t do this yourself
• You expressed that you were experiencing thoughts of self-harm or that you were having suicidal thoughts.

Health Assured will always seek your consent before contacting your GP or the emergency services. However, if it is deemed that you are an immediate risk to yourself or others, this may not be possible.

If you decide structured counselling is for you, the counsellor will carry out a clinical assessment.

Health Assured will take into consideration biological, psychological and social factors during the assessment – this is called the ‘biopsychosocial model of health’. It allows the counsellor to explore your concerns with you, and identify goals for the counselling.

Counsellors know that it’s not always easy to answer personal questions. By using the above model, they aim to put your mind at ease, and make the assessment as comfortable as possible. It takes around 20 minutes, and is completed via the phone. The assessment is a vital part of the therapeutic process, and must be carried out – you can complete it at a time that suits you. After the assessment, your counsellor will identify the most appropriate treatment for you.

You will work with the same counsellor on a weekly basis, and each session will last for 50 minutes. The counselling sessions will provide a safe and confidential space for you to talk about how you are feeling, and help you to identify a way forward.

The counsellors use a solution-focused approach – this focusses on the here and now. Talking through your problems is a powerful way to deal with them. This approach encourages mindfulness and helps to build change.

You’ll set targets and goals during the sessions, building your own plan and resources – in the sessions, you are the expert. No-one knows your own mind as well as you do.

Student emergency contact statement

The Health Assured support line is a separate service offered to students of Keele University. Health Assured provides a confidential service and the information you discuss with their helpline support workers is not routinely provided to the University unless your health, wellbeing or welfare is judged to be at imminent risk. In these circumstances and where the support worker thinks you need additional support, they will seek your consent to share your name and information about their concerns with the University Counselling and Mental Health service so that they can provide you with further help. In some circumstances where you are not able to provide consent or where you refuse consent, Health Assured may still decide to share relevant information with the University where it is necessary to protect your or another person’s vital interests. This approach is consistent with the University’s Student Emergency Contact Statement which you agree to at registration.