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Health, wellbeing and lifestyle

Health and wellbeing

Student Wellbeing is here to help you to stay healthy and well while at university. We support healthy lifestyles through a range of services and activities on and off campus.

We work very closely with partners within and outside of the University to ensure your health and wellbeing needs are met while you are here, and to empower you to take control of your own health and wellbeing to be the best that you can be.

Health and wellbeing services offer both in-person and online support. For general enquires about our services, please contact

Access to health services

Do you need urgent medical treatment?

  • call NHS 111
  • contact your GP for an urgent appointment
  • in an emergency go to the accident and emergency department at James Cook University Hospital.

Do you need advice?

  • call NHS 111

Do you need to see someone?

  • call NHS 111
  • make an appointment with your practice nurse, GP, dentist or optician
  • if you are not registered with a GP, please register at a surgery of your choice using the information here. International students should take an offer letter from the University, passport/visa and tenancy agreement
  • if the GP practice list is closed to new patients you may need to choose another GP practice
  • if you need to see someone and you are not already registered with a GP practice, you can contact a GP to ask for treatment as a temporary resident.

How to find a local GP practice

International students - access to health services in the UK

The NHS is the UK's state health service which provides treatment for UK residents through a wide range of health care services. Some services are free and some have to be paid for.


Measles is potentially a very serious illness which can on rare occasions be fatal. It is highly infectious and is spread through direct contact with an infected person or through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The viral illness begins with a fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. This is followed with a rash that starts on the face and upper neck a few days later, and then spreads down the upper body, extending to the arms, hands, legs and feet.

There is no treatment for measles but it can be prevented by the safe and highly effective MMR vaccine and two doses are required to ensure the best protection.

The majority of cases (confirmed and suspected) in the North East are in unvaccinated school children and young adults.

To prevent spreading the illness, the Health Protection Agency is advising people with symptoms of measles to:

  • stay away from school, nursery or work until at least four full days have elapsed after the development of a rash
  • telephone their GP surgery or hospital A&E unit to inform them they have a rash illness before attending, so that arrangements can be made in advance for minimising their contact with other vulnerable patients
  • avoid contact with pregnant women, people with weak immune systems and babies who are too young to be vaccinated, as they are more vulnerable to infection.

The Health Protection Agency says it is incredibly important to remember that measles isn't a harmless childhood disease and why we're urging people to check they are fully immunised and had both doses of the MMR vaccine.

If anyone has missed out on MMR in the past it's always possible to catch-up as the vaccine can be given at any age. Just contact your local GP.

Anyone who is concerned should contact their GP or NHS 111 in the first instance.


Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges - the lining surrounding the brain. Anyone can get meningitis but students are one of the groups most at risk because of the closeness of student accommodation.

Signs and symptoms

  • it is important you familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of meningitis and remember that symptoms can be mild to severe and you don't always experience them all.
  • Meningitis is a medical emergency. If you suspect meningitis get medical help fast. Call your GP or NHS 111 or dial 999.
  • More information about meningitis and the signs and symptoms
  • Help protect your friends and family. Familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

ACWY Vaccine

  • All Fresher's, under the age of 25 are eligible for their free ACWY meningitis vaccine. You may have had this already at school but it's worth checking with your GP
  • If you have moved away from home to study it is important you register with a local GP so that you can obtain an appointment to have your meningitis vaccine. International students are eligible for the ACWY vaccine for free as well.
  • We encourage you to try to get your vaccine before you arrive at University or as soon as possible after you have arrived
  • Due to Covid19 there may be some restrictions on visiting your GP. Always check by calling before just turning up at a GP practice.
  • Details of local GP practices can be found on the University website, student health and wellbeing pages.

Don't assume it's Covid

  • It's especially important at the moment that you learn to recognise the signs and symptoms of meningitis to differentiate it from Covid19 and other illnesses.
  • Always check with your GP or call NHS 111 if you are unsure.
  • It might be Covid but it could be Meningitis.

More about meningitis

Get help

If you or someone you know is ill and you suspect it's meningitis or septicaemia, get medical help immediately by contacting your GP or NHS 111. In an emergency dial 999 or go to your nearest accident and emergency department.


Mumps is an acute viral illness that causes fever, headache and swollen painful glands. It's spread by coughs and sneezes. More rarely it can cause complications such as inflammation of the ovaries, testicles and pancreas.

What are the symptoms & what to do if you suspect you have mumps?

If you have any symptoms which may include: swollen glands, headaches, joint pain, high temperature you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 and avoid contact with others.

Mumps is most recognisable by the painful swellings in the side of the face under the ears (the parotid glands), giving a person with mumps a distinctive 'hamster face' appearance.

It is important to contact your GP if you suspect mumps so a diagnosis can be made.

While mumps is not usually serious, the condition has similar symptoms to more serious types of infection such as glandular fever and tonsillitis.

Your GP can usually make a diagnosis after seeing and feeling the swelling, looking at the position of the tonsils in the mouth and checking the person's temperature to see if it's higher than normal.

Let your GP know in advance if you are coming to the surgery so they can take any necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

If your GP suspects mumps, they will notify your local health protection team (HPT).

How is mumps spread?

Mumps is spread in the same way as colds and flu: through infected droplets of saliva that can be inhaled or picked up from surfaces and transferred into the mouth or nose.

A person is most contagious a few days before the symptoms develop and for a few days afterwards.

During this time, it's important to prevent the infection spreading to others, particularly teenagers and young adults who have not been vaccinated.

If you have mumps you can help prevent it spreading by:

  • Regularly washing your hands with soap and water
  • Using and disposing of tissues when you sneeze
  • Avoiding school, college, university, or work for at least 5 days after your symptoms first develop.

How to prevent mumps

If you have any concerns regarding your immunity, please contact your GP to check your MMR vaccination status.

If you are between 18 and 25 ypou may have only had one dose of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. You need two doses to be properly immunised. Make an appointment with a GP for another vaccination if necessary.

What to do if you are diagnosed with mumps?

As soon as possible, after you receive a diagnosis of mumps, please email to let us know the date of your diagnosis. A member of the student wellbeing team will then get in touch. We can help with liaison with your school as well.

Stay away from University for the recommended amount of time, following onset of symptoms, or as directed by your GP.

24/7 Mental wellbeing support services

Smoke-free campus

The University has a No Smoking Policy which supports the aim of a smoke-free campus, The policy aims to provide a healthy working environment and protect the health of employees, students and visitors to the University by raising awareness of the dangers associated with exposure to tobacco smoke. The No Smoking Policy states:

Smoking is prohibited in the following locations:

  • all University buildings, including student residential accommodation
  • the Darlington campus
  • all areas of the Middlesbrough campus owned or managed by the University
  • vehicles owned or hired by the University.

The preparation of smoking material in public areas within buildings is also prohibited.

Vaping is prohibited in the following locations:

  • all University buildings, including student residential accommodation
  • the vicinity of entrances, exits and ground floor windows of all University buildings
  • vehicles owned or hired by the University.

There are services available if you wish to stop smoking, either through your GP, local pharmacy, community drop-in or helpline.

Sexual Health Services

Did you know that there are sexual health services available locally in Middlesbrough and also on campus.

You can access free and confidential sexual health services across Teesside, including information and advice on all types of contraception and STI testing & treatment. Services are confidential, non-judgmental and for people of all ages, genders and orientations. Sexual health clinics can be found in Middlesbrough, Redcar, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. In Middlesbrough, there is a clinic around 10-15 minutes' walk from the main university campus, located at:

3rd Floor, Live Well Centre
Dundas Arcade Shopping Centre

In addition to clinic services, students can access sexual health care in many other venues. Local pharmacies offer emergency hormonal contraception (EHC, or 'the morning after pill'), free condoms and chlamydia screening kits - they are often open for longer hours and at weekends. Around Teesside University's campus, you can find the following pharmacies in the Linthorpe Road / Cleveland Centre area:

  • Boots - 88-80 Linthorpe Road, TS1 2JZ, 01642 249616
  • Well Pharmacy - 1-3 Newton Mall, Cleveland Centre, TS1 2NW, 01642 240548
  • Lloyds - Scandinavian House, 386 Linthorpe Road, TS5 6HA, 01642 812993
  • Knights Hunters - 397 Linthorpe Road, TS5 6AE, 01642 819533
  • Pharmacy Express - 103 Linthorpe Road, TS1 5DD, 01642 244328

Students can also access a wide array of services online at

You can get free online / postal access to:

  • STI testing kits (chlamydia / gonorrhoea / syphilis / HIV) - posted to you, with results via SMS
  • Condoms and lubricants via post
  • Emergency Hormonal Contraception, along with pregnancy tests and condoms

The website has lots of useful information regarding all forms of contraception, symptoms of sexually transmitted infections, how to access PrEP, and links to other local agencies that can offer support.


The website also has information on Monkeypox, which you may have heard about in recent news bulletins; this includes what symptoms to look out for, how to get treatment and vaccinations.

Sexual health services on campus

Sexual Health care is also provided on-campus at Teesside University by Terrence Higgins Trust who deliver drop-in sessions to provide condoms/lubricants, 'finger prick' testing for HIV, as well as advice and guidance and signposting to local support agencies. Look out for their details on the university blackboard, library news and social media, Facebook and Twitter.

Drop-in sessions (no appointment needed) will run in the Student Life Building throughout Academic year in SLB2. 30b (wellbeing room), 2nd floor of the Student Life Building.

You can be tested for HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis C these are rapid tests which means you get your results before you leave.

We're here for everyone, remember most STIs are easily treated, and you can get the information and support you need.

Please contact Anthony - Health Promotion Specialist by email if you have any questions.

Alcohol and drugs

Drinking alcohol is part of student culture, but we just want to make sure you are safe when you are out drinking. If you are going to be drinking, leave the car at home. Try and have two alcohol free days each week. Stay well hydrated, a good way is to alternate an alcoholic drink with a soft drink.

Anyone with concerns regarding drug and/or alcohol use or feeling under pressure from friends to try drugs or alcohol can seek advice from Change Grow Live (CGL), based in the Live Well Centre, Dundas House, Middlesbrough.

If you are currently in recovery, Teesside University is a recovery friendly campus. There are weekly drop in meetings on campus. Contact Recovery Connections for more information, or 07949 034820.

Exam fit

Everyone deals with pressure differently, but we're here to help. Check out our list of simple things you can do to help stay healthy and well during your time at university - and beyond.

More about being exam fit

Lifestyle service

The lifestyle service comes in two pathways for the students to pick from:

Exercise referral - a 12-week support program where the student will engage in physical activity of their choosing (usually walking, running or strength training in the university gym). They will have one session per week with a highly qualified trainer. They will be educated in exercise in order for them to become the masters of their own autonomy and have the confidence and skill set they need to achieve whatever goals they set themselves in the future.

Lifestyle clinic - is a six-week intervention where the student and an advisor discuss their nutrition and/or other aspects of their lifestyle. This is done through them completing tasks such as food and/or activity journals then reflect on them to identify patterns in behaviours. They will explore healthy alternatives and take realistic approaches to making the changes they desire.

For more information contact Student Life.

Yoga sessions

Throughout the academic year we will be offering a number of activities to support your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. These will include short sessions of yoga, Pilates, Mindfulness, meditation and breathwork to fit in and around your studies. This is an excellent way to spend some time on yourself to re-set, re-charge or just take a break from your studies.

These sessions will take place on the Darlington and Middlesbrough campuses. Currently we offer a session 1.10pm - 1.45pm on a Thursday at Darlington campus in the NHC building. Sessions at Middlesbrough campus will take place in the Wellbeing room on the ground floor of the library.

To find out more, follow Student Life on Facebook, Instagram and X.

Post Covid support service

The University's Post-Covid Support Service (PCSS), is available to support students who may be experiencing the longer term effects of having had Covid19, which has been identified by the NHS as Post- Covid (also known as Long Covid). The service offers an information, advice and signposting service via MS Teams and is available free to all students.

More about the Post Covid support service

Contact us

For general health and well-being related queries and how to access advice on alcohol use, smoking cessation, contraception - including emergency contraception, sexual health issues and dental treatment.

T: 01642 342277
In person: Student Life

Student Life opening hours
Monday - Friday: 8.00am - 6.00pm

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