Health and Wellbeing

Chat to a Champion: Online Peer Support

Jo and Rachel, Wellbeing Practitioners, talk about the new online peer support available from Student Wellbeing Champions…

‘Chat to a Champion’ is an opportunity for you to chat online with a fellow student, who has received training in the areas of health and wellbeing, for support and advice about anything you might be struggling with or just want some guidance on!

Chat to a Wellbeing Champion

Research shows that 75% of students would initially prefer to speak with one of their peers rather than a professional when they are finding things difficult.

Every Wednesday during term-time, between 13:30-14:30, Wellbeing Champions will be available on an Instant Messaging tool. Students can ‘drop in’ to ask a question, receive advice and support or simply to talk about anything concerning them with somebody who is in a good position to be able to understand.

Chat to a Champion drop-ins will last for up to 15 minutes, and will be provided via Blackboard Instant Messaging (IM), which is a free instant messaging tool, available on all university managed PCs.

Find out more details about Chat to a Champion on the Intranet


What Can I Chat to a Champion About?

Wellbeing champions can provide a place to be heard, plus resources and guidance on topics like:
  • sleep
  • diet and exercise
  • anxiety
  • low mood / depression
  • improving your overall wellbeing
  • how to access further support.

Who are the Wellbeing Champions?

Wellbeing Champions and Postgraduate Peer Supporters are students who support other students to look after their wellbeing. They offer knowledge, experience, and social or practical help to fellow students, promoting the importance of self-care, providing information and signposting on a range of wellbeing-related issues and taking part in promotion activities across campus.

Find out more about the Wellbeing Champions


When Can I Chat to a Champion via Blackboard IM?

Once you have downloaded the Blackboard IM tool, you will be able to access the Chat to a Champion online drop-in through a university-managed PC, on Wednesdays, between 13:30-14:30.

Chat to a Champion will be available this Semester from 31 January 2018, 13:30-14:30 and will run every Wednesday during term time. 

Please see information below about Blackboard IM and how to use the tool.


What is Blackboard IM?

Blackboard IM allows people to meet live online, to collaborate and communicate quickly and easily.

Different from other instant messaging tools, Blackboard IM also synchronises with your Learning Central enrolment records, which means that you, your module peers, and teachers are automatically connected in the same modules.

Therefore, creating a Blackboard IM account means that you can interact with fellow students (as well as accessing the Chat to a Champion service).

* Please note that Blackboard IM does not run on mobile devices at present.


How to I access Chat to a Champion?

To access the service from a University-managed PC, you need to follow a few simple steps:

  1. Create a Blackboard IM account (if you do not have one already).

Watch a quick video about how to do this


Read this guide document to start.

  1. Access the Blackboard IM application using your Blackboard IM account.

The Blackboard Instant Messaging application is installed on all University-managed PCs.

Log in and go to: Start menu -> All Programmes -> Cardiff Apps -> Collaboration -> Blackboard IM, to access.

  1. Enter the Chat to a Champion Chat room

When you log in to Blackboard IM, just click on the tab ‘School’ and you will see the Chat to a Champion room available at the allocated time: Wednesdays, between 13:30-14:30.

You can enter by clicking on the room, and then beginning your chat with one of the Wellbeing Champions.


How to install on your own computer

If you would like to install the application on your own computer, so that you can access the service from the comfort of your own home:

Watch this video to download and install the Blackboard IM application on your own device

Please note: Blackboard IM does not run on mobile devices at present.


Problems with the tool?

In the event of any difficulties using the Blackboard IM tool, please contact the IT Service Desk for help and advice:


See what the Wellbeing Champions are all about

Further Support

If you are finding things difficult at the moment and you would like further support, please know that the Cardiff University Support Services are here for you – there is no problem too big or too small, and we offer a range of flexible support options including:

Watch our video to meet our friendly and approachable staff, who will listen to you non-judgmentally, in a safe and confidential space.

If you are worried that you are experiencing physical symptoms that may be affecting your health, we strongly advise you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you do not already have a GP, please contact NHS Wales on 0845 46 47 or check out their website to view all of your GP options.


Best Wishes,

Jo and Rachel, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing Team.

Your Student Life Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and MoneyCareers and EmployabilityCounselling, Health and WellbeingDisability and Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


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