Support and Wellbeing

Student wellbeing is a priority and we’re dedicated to ensuring that the RNCM is a safe and comfortable environment for everyone within our community.

RNCM students take part in Alexander Technique class

RNCM Health and Wellbeing Hub

Our Health and Wellbeing Hub is a group of support and academic staff dedicated to helping you to feel safe, be resilient and to flourish. Hub staff are committed to promoting health and wellbeing at the College, including through teaching and research, and we are not only here for when things get difficult. As a team of specialists, we provide advice, support and, where appropriate, referrals to other services.

Our Health and Wellbeing Hub is made up of:

  • John Habron: Head of Music, Education and Wellbeing
  • Jean Ammar: Senior Tutor, English Language Support
  • Sara Ascenso: Lecturer in Musicians’ Health and Wellbeing
  • Cheryll Duncan: Senior Tutor, Learning Support
  • Su Harrison, Pete Robinson and Malcolm Williamson: Alexander Technique Tutors
  • Claire Donoghue, Bryan Fox and Wendy Traynor: Counsellors
  • Jane Gray and Emily Mason: Student Wellbeing Advisors

‘We are here to help you access any support that you may need to look after your wellbeing so that you feel you can cope well with everyday life and do well in your studies. Whatever it is, we’re here for you so please do just get in touch. We’re always happy to hear from you no matter how big or small your issue may feel.’ Jane Gray and Emily Mason

International Students

Studying abroad is a big step for many students but our dedicated admissions team are on hand at every stage of the journey. This includes application guidance, English Language support (both Pre-Sessional and In-Sessional English) and visa and immigration advice. We also have an elected Student Diversity Representative to ensure your views are heard during your studies.

For more information, email [email protected].

Disability, Medical Conditions, Mental Health and Specific Learning Difficulties

The RNCM welcomes disabled students and those with long-term conditions (including Specific Learning Difficulties and mental health problems). The term ‘disability’ covers a range of medical and mental health conditions and impairments.

How the RNCM can help you

The Student Wellbeing Advisors offer advice and practical support for disability-related issues and are the first point of contact for students. It is helpful if you get in touch as early as possible so that support can be agreed and put in place. You will be invited to a confidential meeting to discuss any disability support arrangements (known as ‘reasonable adjustments’) for your programme of study. This information is documented on a Personal Learning Plan (PLP), and you will be asked to confirm by email that you consent to this being shared with teaching staff.

Evidence of disability is normally required before a PLP can be issued. For a specific learning difficulty this is usually a diagnostic report carried out by a suitably qualified psychologist or teacher. For medical/mental health conditions, evidence from a medical practitioner is usually required. Please note that students are not obliged to disclose a disability/impairment, but unless you do so we will be unable to provide appropriate support and adjustments cannot be made retrospectively. Disclosure can be made at any stage during the student journey.

Our Student Wellbeing Advisors can also advise you about:

  • Screening for specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia)
  • Advice on applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA)
  • Specialist mental health support
  • Specialist physical support

Our Student Wellbeing Advisors are here to offer advice, guidance and support at any time before or during your time at RNCM. You can email them at [email protected].

Student Counselling Service

Counselling provides an opportunity for you to explore any issues you may wish to talk about with someone who is not directly involved in the situation you are trying to deal with. This may be about anything that is on your mind, or which may be affecting you and/or the way you relate to others.

The College counsellors won’t pass judgement or give advice but try and assist you to find your own solutions. Their main concern is to help you discover a more fulfilling and satisfying way of leading your life.

The service is free of charge to registered students and anything you choose to bring to counselling will be treated with confidentiality.

If you are a current student, you can register here.

For more information about the service email [email protected].

Alexander Technique

Look, feel and sound better! The Alexander Technique teachers are ready to work with you to develop healthy habits for optimal performance at work, rest and play. Alexander Technique is a tried-and-tested approach for improving personal performance and avoiding undue effort or stress. One-off or regular classes are available for a small charge.

To arrange a lesson, email [email protected].

For more information about Alexander Technique and lots of helpful videos, current students can visit the Moodle page.

Our Alexander Technique Tutors are:

Su Harrison
[email protected]

Pete Robinson
[email protected]

Malcolm Williamson
[email protected]

Lecturer in Musicians’ Health and Wellbeing

We know that when we are well, we learn better, we perform better, we develop better and we are able to have more sustainable careers as musicians too. Throughout your time here, you will have many opportunities to learn more about how to take good care of both your physical wellbeing and mental health.

Our Lecturer in Musicians’ Health and Wellbeing will deliver a whole range of exciting sessions across different modules. Equip is a series of wellbeing workshops for which you can sign up whenever you want to. We cover many wellbeing topics such as physical wellbeing, nutrition, sleep and prevention of injury, relaxation techniques, motivation, prevention and management of performance anxiety, focus, concentration and memorization strategies.

Current students should contact [email protected] or visit the Equip Moodle Page for more info.

Looking After Your Health

The British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) has lots of information on their website about healthy practice and injury prevention. They run regular clinics in the RNCM and also offer free consultations for specialist, medical advice via their website.

If there is treatment that you need you may also be eligible for financial support from Help Musicians.

It is important that you register with a GP in Greater Manchester so that you can get the support and healthcare you need. Visit the NHS website for information about other NHS services.

For guidance and advice about any of these topics, contact our Student Wellbeing Advisors: [email protected]

Mental Health First Aiders

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help offered to a person developing a mental health issue, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health issue or in a mental health crisis.

Our trained Mental Health First Aiders are on hand to help you, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with them.

Ciara Finney
[email protected]

Rebecca Mungovan        
[email protected]

Greg Skipworth   
[email protected]

Dominic Wood        
[email protected]

In an emergency

Call 999 in a medical or mental health emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

NHS 111 can help if you need urgent medical help or you’re not sure what to do.

Chaplaincy

Chaplains from St Peter’s House are available for pastoral support for students of all faiths and none.  There is a broad wholeness programme which includes Pilates, Yoga, Mindfulness and more which is available to students free of charge.  The Chaplaincy also has a large volunteering programme which works across all the Universities in Manchester and through this students can connect with a broad cross section of people.

Togetherall

Togetherall is a safe, online community where people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing.

As an RNCM student you have free access to a 24/7 online global community and professional support from trained professionals. Togetherall provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings, get creative and learn how to self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.

Useful Resources

www.studentminds.org.uk
The UK’s student mental health charity

www.manchesterstudenthomes.com
A free, university-run housing service for students.

www.rncmsu.org.uk
All about our fab Students’ Union

www.gov.uk
Find UK government services and information

www.talktofrank.com
Facts, support and advice on drugs and alcohol