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Mental Health & Learning Difficulty Support

Hello! My daughter has received a conditional offer from Kingston University and she has placed it as her first choice. She is going to study Adult Nursing BSc, she has Irlen Syndrome and Dyslexia as well as countless mental health issues that she takes medication for. I was wondering if anybody knows what the mental health & learning difficulty support is like at Kingston? Obviously, she is studying a very challenging degree and I am worried that she may not be able to cope at times so I am just wondering if she will be okay with the support available. I also wanted to know how does she go about applying for DSA? Is this through student finance or NHS Bursaries or through the University directly?
You apply for DSA through Student Finance usually, but because your daughter is studying nursing it will most likely be through NHS bursaries.

In terms of the support, I have no idea what it is like because I didn't apply to do this course, or apply to this university.
Reply 2
SFE for the DSA. It changed over from NHS Bursaries for students enrolling on nursing courses from 2017.

https://www.rcn.org.uk/Get-Help/Member-support-services/Peer-support-services/Students/DSA
Original post by portentous-recep
Hello! My daughter has received a conditional offer from Kingston University and she has placed it as her first choice. She is going to study Adult Nursing BSc, she has Irlen Syndrome and Dyslexia as well as countless mental health issues that she takes medication for. I was wondering if anybody knows what the mental health & learning difficulty support is like at Kingston? Obviously, she is studying a very challenging degree and I am worried that she may not be able to cope at times so I am just wondering if she will be okay with the support available. I also wanted to know how does she go about applying for DSA? Is this through student finance or NHS Bursaries or through the University directly?

Hi @portentous-recep ,

The application for DSA is through the student finance portal.
We have a page with guidance on DSA https://www.kingston.ac.uk/disability/disabled-students-allowance/.
After you complete the application you will be asked to submit evidence.

I would apply as soon as possible as it can take them a couple of months to process the application.
Afterwards, when the evidence gets accepted you will need to book a session for assessment for recommendations.
Something useful to know that if she is recommended a laptop, you will be asked to pay £200, but from my experience, the Kingston University refunded me.

For mental health conditions, they (student finance and also Kingston University) usually accept this form completed by GP: https://media.slc.co.uk/sfe/nysf/sfe_dsa_disability_evidence_form.pdf
Evidence must:

be completed by a relevant professional;

follow sector standards where appropriate e.g. Dyslexia/Specific learning differences

state the name of your disability, impairment or long-term health condition;

state whether it is temporary, long-term or permanent;

be up-to-date and where relevant, provide a prognosis and (expected) duration of the condition;

state how the disability/impairment affects you;

indicate wherever possible what study-related support or adjustments you may require.


The university can help with:
A mental health advisor will be able to advise your daughter if problems arise.
The lecturers do offer an additional 1 to 1 if needed.
She would have assignment extensions and extra time during exams.

You will need to submit evidence to the university too (the same as for DSA) and then a statement of support needs will be generated. The wellbeing team offers mental health support such as listening and stress management sessions, which can be booked one week in advance. They also offer six sessions of counselling per academic year.

Speaking from personal experience everyone on the nursing course is very friendly. Nursing students all talk to and support each other and there is no shortage of hugs too. Also, as part of nursing if you have additional needs you can go to an Occupational Therapist for reasonable adjustments. For example, no night shifts if this will negatively impact mental health or five minutes alone time if she becomes too anxious.

Are you worried about a particular part of the course?
Feel free to ask me anything 😊

Hristiana (Kingston rep)
1st Year Mental Health Nurse
(edited 2 months ago)

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