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Health and Wellbeing - The Open College of the Arts | Distance Learning Degrees and Courses

Take care of your health and wellbeing

As a student, supporting your health and wellbeing is important to ensure that you are able to study effectively. Through OCA you can access support services when you need them.

OCA students have access to a support network of tutors, and staff who are there to look out for your wellbeing. All OCA staff are trained in Mental Health First Aid, and the Learner Support team have additional specialist training in advice. In addition, many of our tutors have specialisms alongside their creative practice, for example autism support, and resilience development. Find out more information on the other services that OCA provide.


OCAWellbeing is our app to support your mental wellbeing whilst studying at OCA. This free resource is designed to support you by developing your resilience and other study skills. Packed full of tips and tricks, podcasts that teach you new techniques, and challenges that assist you in creating new positive habits, this app is a great sidekick to your studies.

This is available to all OCA students. Accessible through the Google Play and iTunes App Stores, to register and use the app all you need is your oca.ac.uk email address. When you sign in, you will be asked to confirm your email address and click on the link in the subsequent email to get up and running.

Our app is built on the principle of five steps to mental health set out by the NHS:

  • Connect with others
  • Be active
  • Learn new things
  • Giving
  • Mindfulness

Students of OCA come from all over the world; all parts of the UK, the EU, and further afield. For students in the UK, when you need help you can find it through the Hub of Hope. This free online service gives you details of the mental health support services available near you. Submit your location, postcode, or city and it will bring up those local services or national if you prefer.

David Adjaye - Making Memory by livvya is licensed under CC BY 2.0


OCA is a proud partner with the mental health charity SANE. They are one of the leading charities supporting mental health in the UK conducting research into mental health, self-harm, and suicide.

SANE operate SANEline, an out of hours support line offering emotional support, guidance, and information. Open 4:30 – 10:30 pm every day of the year, there’s someone available to help you.

We also support SANE in the running of their Creative Awards Scheme. This scheme, available to OCA students, aims to support the creative potential of people with mental health problems and their carers. Awards of £75-300 can be made to contribute to the cost of materials, training, educational courses, or relief cover for carers.

As a student of OCA you are automatically eligible for support from Student Minds, the student mental health charity. Student Minds represent and campaign on behalf of students to ensure access to appropriate mental health support services. In addition, they also provide wellbeing tips and resources, and access to support via text, phone, web-chat, and email.

Student Minds also run the University Mental Health Charter. This is a set of principles to encourage universities to make appropriate provision to support the wellbeing of students. OCA took part in the shape and set up of the charter, and we have a commitment to supporting our students.

Christopher Burns on Unsplash