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Disabled students' mental health ​support

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Disabled Student Allowance

A Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) is available to all disabled students who have a disability, mental health problem or learning difference.

A DSA comes in the form of a non-repayable grant. It can help you cover any extra study-related costs that you may have because of your disability. You need to have been diagnosed by a medical professional and provide proof of this.

DSAs can vary depending on where you live in the UK. Find out more below for:

Find support for disabled students

  • National Autistic Society. People with autism or a learning disability (or both) are more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population. Find further information and support at the National Autistic Society. Read more about Mind's policy work on autism and mental health.
  • Mencap (for learning disabilities). According to Mencap, mental health problems are often confused with learning disabilities. Evidence suggests that the prevalence of mental health problems may be higher in people with a learning disability. Find out more information about learning disabilities and mental health from Mencap. See also our guide to learning disability support and services.
  • National Union of Students (NUS). The NUS has been campaigning to remove stigma and challenge perceptions of disability. On the NUS website, you can find detailed information on where to get support for disabled students.
  • Your own student union. In your place of study, the student union may have a disabled students society or network. It can provide information and support, social opportunities and peer support.
  • Student Space - Life as a disabled student. These online resources from Student Space offer information on issues relevant to disabled students during coronavirus. The articles are available in English and in Welsh.

Disability discrimination

If you are disabled, your rights are protected under the Equality Act 2010

Disability has a special legal meaning under the Equality Act, which is broader than many people might realise. You may be considered disabled (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) because of your mental health problem. If so, you have specific rights related to getting support.

Disability discrimination is when you're treated badly because of having a disability, or something related to being disabled.

See our legal rights page on disability discrimination for more information.

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