Tutors have a pastoral role as well as an academic one and many students do discuss personal problems with tutors. This can be helpful as not only is it useful to talk through a problem, but tutors can also offer advice on how to deal with any impact the problem has upon the student's academic work.
Students need to be aware that tutors are not trained counsellors and that they have a busy workload, so they are unlikely to be able to offer all the support students need for serious emotional or mental health problems.
Nevertheless, if a student can keep their tutor informed of their situation that can be very helpful. Tutors are aware of other sources of support and can often help students to make an appointment with a counsellor or GP if that is appropriate.
Administrative and other staff
College secretaries, departmental secretaries, librarians and other staff often get to know students well and offer a different type of contact to that with tutors. The extent to which such staff are available to students depends both on the nature of their job roles and on their individual personalities. As with any staff members, a low level of friendly support can be beneficial to mental health. However, when students are experiencing serious emotional or mental health problems then support from a GP or counsellor is required.