What is the Mental Health Advisory (MHA) Service?

The Mental Health Advisory Service as a part of Department of Campus Life (DCL) specifically provides professional services for students who have significant mental health problems. This includes crisis intervention, individual mental health support, group mental health support, referral to psychiatrists. Further, the MHA Service initiates or coordinates mental health activities, such as mental health screening, the Peer Listener Project, Mr.Listener Programme and professional training for the Student Support Advisor team.

What does 'significant mental health problem' mean?

Students using the MHA service are likely to be experiencing mental health difficulties to a degree that they are in need of psychiatric assessment. Their symptoms are likely to have been present for some time with the exception of first/early onset of psychosis and acute stress reactions. The impact of their difficulties is likely to be apparent in their personal, social and academic lives and there will be an element of risk associated with their presentation.

Risk in the student population may include risk to self (e.g. suicidal ideation, suicidal intent, self-harm, self-injury), and risk to others (e.g. thoughts/actions of hurting others).

Whom does the MHA Service support?

All students with significant mental health difficulties registered for study with UNNC including resit not in attendance, interrupted students, and thesis pending. We do not provide support for students whose primary difficulty is a drug/alcohol problem or a developmental disorder such as Asperger’s or ADHD. Students do not need to have a formal mental health diagnosis to receive support from this service.

Does the MHA Service operate a duty system?

The MHA Service operates within normal working hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00-12:00 am, 1:30-5:00pm).

For Crisis Intervention, Please immediately in contact with a MHA via phone/in person.

Out of hours emergencies should be referred to university emergency line (0574-88180111). It will allocate resources according to the nature of the emergency.

How do I refer to the MHA Service?

Normally, a referral is accepted only when it comes from a Student Support Advisor (SSA), University Counselling Service (UCS), or a Faculty Senior Tutor (FST). After the MHA Service receives an MHA Referral Form via email, an initial appointment will be arranged with the student within 2 working days. The initial appointment will be sent to the student via the calendar, and the referrer and the counterpart Student Support Advisor will be informed at the same time.

What will happen at my first appointment?

The initial appointment lasts 1 hour. This process allows the MHA to assess risk and get an overview of the student’s situation. The MHA will talk with the student about the mental health support that will be provided, inform the referrer and suggest follow-up actions that the referrer (SSA/UCS/FST) and SSA can take to provide students with appropriate services.


Following the initial appointment, the MHA will inform the referrer and the Student Support Advisor that the student is coming to see an MHA. Information will be disclosed only on a need-to-know basis. A need-to-know basis means limited confidentiality, in which the MHA will brief the Student Support Advisor and the referrer about the outcome of risk assessment and any relevant factors, and offer advice on any actions that the SSA needs to take. MHAs will inform students when they are sharing information except in the exceptional circumstances of immediate risk and/or where the University cannot manage the level of the risk. In these circumstances, MHAs will follow the Mental Health Law of the People’s Republic of China, article 16 that “Schools and teachers shall communicate with the students' parents or other guardians or close relatives about the students' mental health conditions.”

What about making a psychiatric apointment?

We encourage students to make the appointment themselves in advance if you can. Go to the Alipay, then click on “HealthCare – Reservation – Ningbo Kangning Hospital”, you can make a psychiatric appointment with a psychiatrist yourself. The Green Chanel only works under the circumstance that a student needs an appointment but the psychiatrist is fully booked. For those who need to see a psychiatrist but do not have the energy to make the appointment, an MHA will be able to help the student to obtain a psychiatric assessment as well based on the referral from a student support advisor, a university counsellor or a faculty senior tutor.

Moreover, an MHA can provide more detailed information if a student has questions about seeing a psychiatrist. For instance, which Outpatient Clinic (OPC) is more accurate for the student’s situation, depression, anxiety or sleep? Different psychiatrists specialized in different area. After meeting with the student, an MHA will be able to give a more accurate suggestion on which OPC to reserve.