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Student Wellbeing Service

Introducing your Wellbeing Advisors

Hi and welcome to the Student Wellbeing Service.
We are your Faculty Wellbeing Advisors and we provide wellbeing support across the University. 

Here is some information about us, our experience and details of which Faculty we provide support to.

          Mel Wise

                  Faculty of Computer Science

My first career was in English language education, where I worked internationally and in the UK, working with students of all ages and backgrounds. I always had a special interest in the social and emotional aspects of learning, and the role of wellbeing in education. I am now a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist (registered member of the BACP) with several years’ experience of supporting vulnerable adults in a range of third sector and NHS mental health settings. I work in a way that is trauma-informed and person-centred, adapting my approach to meet the needs of the unique individual. I believe in empowering students to overcome the challenges of university and life experiences by working alongside them to develop tailored, individual support to help them cope in the short-term and thrive in the long-term. I have an MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, MSc in Psychology, and a professional PGDip in Counselling and Psychotherapy.


         Mick Berry

                        Faculty of Engineering

I have 18 years experience supporting student mental health and autism in a higher education setting, accredited to practitioner status with the 'University Mental Health Advisers Network' professional body. I have recently graduated with distinction as a Psychology MSc student, my final dissertation focused on student wellbeing in higher education. My approach is holistic and person-centred, taking a compassionate and curious approach to exploring wellbeing concerns to help individuals make sense of their situation. I firmly believe that there are always options available to a person experiencing difficulty, and work collaboratively to identify sources of stress, build self-supportive strategies and move towards developing the resilience and independence student life requires.

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Ben Webster

Faculty of Arts & Humanities & ScHARR

I have a BA Honours degree in Education, Psychology and Counselling and post graduate diploma in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy. I have experience of working in the third sector; including working in disability, housing and supporting individuals with their mental health on a one-to-one basis. My therapeutic work is informed by a relational approach and I draw on a range of therapeutic interventions to enable individuals to develop self-awareness, foster autonomy and make positive changes to their lives.


Cat Atkinson

Faculty of Arts & Humanities & ScHARR

I have a BSc in Psychology and have experience of working in a range of NHS mental health services in Sheffield, working with individuals across life stages and with varying difficulties, most recently specialising in supporting those with eating disorders. My therapeutic stance is one based on understanding, curiosity and compassion. I feel passionate about working collaboratively with individuals to empower, support and improve their wellbeing during their student journey.


Carmen Karpenko

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

I have a BA (Hons) in Education, Psychology and Counselling, MSc in Psychology and I most recently gained a PgDip in Education Mental Health Practice. My professional background is supporting young people in educational settings from early years to further education, in a variety of roles. I have most recently worked in the third sector providing early-intervention to support young people with their mental health and wellbeing. My therapeutic approach is holistic and person-centred, drawing on a range of skills and techniques from CBT and counselling. I aim to work collaboratively with the individual to gain understanding and make sense of difficulties, empower them to recognise their strengths and abilities and develop self-help strategies. I am passionate about supporting students to overcome barriers to achieve their potential at University and beyond.


Vivien Farrand

Faculty of Science

Originally graduating in Botany, I then followed a career in teaching both in Britain and internationally and received a Master's in Education. I have always seen education in its broadest sense as a vehicle of empowerment providing individuals of all ages or backgrounds with the tools to shape their future and their lives. 

I previously worked as a Specialist Mentor in Higher Education providing study skills, mentoring and strategy support to Sheffield University and Hallam students diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Condition. 

I am a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist and an Accredited Registrant of the National Counselling Society.  I have experience of working therapeutically with a range of issues including those who have experienced trauma. I continue to support Autistic adults on a voluntary basis at the NHS led Sheffield Adult Autism and Neurodevelopment Service (SAANS)

I have an inclusive, person centred approach to supporting individuals and I aim to work holistically recognising there are a variety of causes of distress and a variety of approaches to alleviate it.  I work collaboratively and empathically identifying and building on strengths and employ a range of techniques including CBT and psychoeducation. I believe supporting students to understand themselves better will empower them to not only increase their resilience but also become proactive and develop strategies to build and enhance their overall health and wellbeing during their time at University and through their lives.

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David Barrand

Faculty of Social Sciences

I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology and have worked in a variety of settings within the third sector, Higher Education and in NHS Primary Care for over 15 years.   I am enthusiastic about the benefits of taking a holistic approach to wellbeing having previously worked in the Health & Fitness industry before branching into psychology and mental health. I enjoy the process and benefits of being able to simplify and normalise everyday stresses, pressures, and mental health difficulties, through psychoeducation, self-awareness and understanding how to develop resilience and take the fear out of being a human in the 21st century.

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Emily Vickers

Faculty of Social Sciences

I have over 10 years' experience of working with vulnerable social groups, both in the UK and internationally. After graduating in 2009, I went on to specialise in supporting those with substance misuse and mental health issues. I have developed skills in both Counselling & CBT and take a holistic approach to my therapeutic work. I have worked in Higher Education for the past 3 years and have a strong passion for empowering students to navigate their way through University life and support them along the way.


Fiona Murray

Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health

I have a BSc in Psychology and have considerable experience working with young adults in Higher Education Student Support Services. At Lancaster University I implemented a successful health and wellbeing programme that focused on early engagement and proactive support and received a certificate of recognition for my contributions to Student Support.  I have a particular interest in empowering individuals to manage their wellbeing by drawing on therapeutic techniques including psychoeducation and solution-focused approaches.

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