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If you request support, you will probably be invited to meet a Disability Adviser. You will need to take a supporting letter from your GP or consultant covering the symptoms of your condition and how flare-ups might affect you.
Your Disability Adviser may then work with you to draw up an agreement outlining the support you have requested. This will also cover the information that you have agreed may be passed to other staff or departments. It could be useful to keep a copy of this agreement close to hand, together with the contact details of the staff member responsible for your support, just in case you ever need to request help urgently.
All students experience anxiety when they start university. Sometimes the pressure of exams, coursework, being away from home or feeling isolated when ill may become too much to deal with, even if you have the support of friends and family. If you do find you are becoming anxious, stressed, or depressed, you can access the counseling service at your university or college in complete confidence.
You may find as well as face to face counseling that some counseling organisations offer support by telephone or web chat. Counseling can help with not just health-related issues but also in dealing with dilemmas or difficult decisions, relationship difficulties, sexual problems, or identity issues.
Some students with IBD have found it helpful to talk about their condition with others through online forums and social media sites such as Facebook.
If you are worried about starting work, and whether to speak to your employer about your IBD, you may wish to speak to the Careers Service at your university or college.
The Careers Service can support you in finding employment, during your course, and most can help even after you have graduated. If you are unsure about whether to tell an employer about your condition, a Careers Adviser will be able to talk through the options with you. If you decide to tell an employer, a Careers Adviser will also be able to guide you about how to approach this. It is likely to be worthwhile visiting your Careers Service on campus to see how they can help. Careers services and their contact details can also usually be found on the university or college website. We produce two information sheets on employment and IBD – one for employees, and one for employers.
You may also find a Students’ Union on your campus. As well as offering clubs and societies for students to join, the Students’ Union can also provide advice relating to a range of areas including finance, accommodation and welfare. Details of the Students’ Union can usually be found on the university or college website.