Swansea University has established a Trusted Contact Policy to support the wellbeing and safety of its students. This enables students to identify a trusted contact, who can be contacted by the University in the event of a serious concern about the student's wellbeing. It is designed to provide an additional layer of support to students, particularly those who may be experiencing difficulties or who may be at risk.
Students have the opportunity to identify a trusted contact when they enrol at the University and should consider carefully who this should be. Students will be invited to update or confirm their trusted contact at re-enrolment, and it is important this information is kept up to date. Students can change their trusted contact at any point via the Intranet. Full details available here - Update My Details - Swansea University.
A trusted contact should be:
- A responsible adult over the age of 18 such as a family member, guardian, friend, or partner.
- A person who can offer support and has an understanding of the student’s medical and social circumstances.
- Be aware they have been nominated and willing to be contacted by the University.
The trusted contact at may be contacted in various situations where the University has serious concerns regarding the wellbeing of a student. Examples include:
- A deterioration in mental health difficulties
- Concerning behaviour
- High-risk drug and alcohol use
- High-risk self-harm
- Non-engagement in studies or support
The university respects student privacy and confidentiality and a trusted contact is not automatically notified of concerns. Contact happens in collaboration with the student and wherever possible, the university will seek student consent before sharing any personal information with the trusted contact.
Next of Kin
A next of kin is a person who a student designates to be contacted in the event of a medical emergency, accident, or other urgent situation where a student’s vital interests are at risk. The purpose of a next of kin is to provide immediate notification to someone who can make decisions on behalf of the student and provide necessary support and is mandatory information all students must provide at enrolment. A next of kin is usually a parent, guardian, or spouse.
A trusted contact is a person who a student identifies as someone they trust and who can be contacted by the university in the event of a concern about the student's wellbeing. The purpose of a trusted contact is to provide an additional support and is not mandatory information.
Whilst a student may choose to list their next of kin and trusted contact as the same person, the main difference is their purpose and the circumstances under which they are contacted.
The university may also pass information to relevant third parties where there are safeguarding concerns or a student’s vital interests are at risk. Relevant third parties may include:
- Emergency services
- Secondary mental health services
- Social Services
If the university has significant, more immediate concerns about the welfare and safety of a student, they may contact a trusted contact, next of kin or relevant third parties without consent. Examples include:
- Missing and cannot be contacted
- Emergency hospital admission
- Mental health crisis
- Life threatening behaviour or plans to self or others
- Significant self-neglect or inability to live independently
Staff or students who have concerns which may require the university to contact a trusted contact or next of kin should contact Welfare@CampusLife or Security for more urgent concerns.
Swansea University has a range of support available for students experiencing wellbeing and mental health difficulties. Please visit our webpages for more information - Student Support Services - Swansea University.
Trusted contact and next of kin information is held and processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. Full details available here - Data Protection - Swansea University.
- Student Mental Health Policy
- Fitness to Study Policy
- Safeguarding Policy
(all currently under review – links when active)