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Overriding Principles

Don’t get involved out of your depth.

As a member of the University community, in a crisis situation, you are obliged to call the relevant support services. If you do not feel confident to deal with the situation, you must contact a person with more experience and pass your concerns on. Do not ignore a crisis.

As a member of staff you are not expected to counsel a student or colleague, but to provide them with relevant contact information for support services and resources available. Do not try to deal with a situation alone.

If the situation is an emergency one then there is no need to gain permission to disclose. However if possible try to take steps to gain the individual’s permission to do so or make the individual aware at the earliest practicable time following disclosure. If there is any immediate threat then action should be taken through emergency services immediately. If there is no immediate threat to an individual then the individual has the right to decide what to do about their behaviour once informed of the University’s expectations regarding the conduct of its staff and students.

Once the immediate crisis has been managed, you should make a written record of the event, including the key facts, actions, any decisions taken and whether any other individuals have been affected as well as outcomes. This record should be kept in a confidential manner and only disclosed either where the individual has given permission or in order to manage ongoing significant risks to the individual or others. For further advice on how the record should be stored and issues of confidentiality , contact University Governance and Compliance.

The Counselling Service (for both Staff and Students) provides a confidential safe space where counsellors will work with you to help you to explore your situation or difficulty without judging you. We understand that your involvement in any crisis situation may provoke personal issues for yourself or resonate with your own life experiences. If you would like to meet with a counsellor please visit the Counselling Service web pages for more information and details about how to arrange an appointment.


Cardiff University has several policies and initiatives aimed at promoting wellbeing, equality and diversity in the workplace. Please select the following links to find out more about these: