Health and Wellbeing, Mental health

Free exercise referral programme to help students

Student Interns, Annie and Will, tell us how exercise can benefit your wellbeing with the new Exercise on Referral scheme…


University life is full of daily obstacles that can interfere with our mood and wellbeing. The accumulation of certain events can lead to many students’ studies being interrupted by depression and/or anxiety as motivation and decision-making becomes more difficult. Such issues are common but also difficult to overcome. However, the Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service are introducing an exercise referral programme in order to provide a helping hand to students at Cardiff Uni.

What is Exercise on Referral?

Exercise on Referral is a new scheme involving collaboration between Counselling, Health and Wellbeing from Student Support and Sport. Exercise on Referral is a fairly old concept, and works on the idea that exercise and physical activity is good for health and wellbeing, and also the prevention of long-term medical conditions. There is scientific research that suggests people who engage in physical activity are more likely to report better mental health, suggesting that there is a positive relationship between physical activity and general mental health (Kim et al, 2012).

What can I expect if I am referred onto the scheme?

The scheme is fully funded and involves 8 weeks of one-to-one support with Richard Jones or another member of the Sport team. Your activity levels will be assessed before a personal programme is devised, based on activities of your choice. The programme will not necessarily be gym based if this is not something you enjoy, it could involve a more walking featured programme, or even a home exercise DVD. You will have regular check-ups with Richard to monitor progress and motivation.

If you are not already a member of the gym, you will be given access to use the gym free of charge for the duration of the programme. If you wish to continue using the gym after the programme, you would need to purchase a membership. Additionally, if you already are a member of the gym, you can still be referred for an assessment and guidance from Sport.

How do I refer onto the scheme?

A member of the Counselling, Health and Wellbeing staff must refer you for the scheme. If you think you would benefit from this programme, you can drop in Monday-Friday 3-3:45pm for a non-bookable, 10-15 minute appointment to have an initial chat with us or, alternatively, please refer into our service by completing our referral questionnaire. Please be sure to mention that you are interested in the scheme and would like to be considered.

Contacting Counselling, Health and Wellbeing

Watch our video and see for yourself that we have friendly and approachable staff. Staff who are able to listen to you non-judgmentally, in a safe and confidential space. Whatever it is you need help with please contact us – you can access our drop-in from Monday-Friday 3-3:45pm for a non-bookable, 10-15 minutes appointment to have an initial chat with us or, alternatively, please refer into our service by completing our referral questionnaire.

If you are worried about your health, we strongly advise you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you do not already have GP please contact Park Place Surgery.

More information about Sport and Exercise at Cardiff University.

Best wishes,

Will and Annie, Student Interns.


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 & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & 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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