Clinical Student Mental Health Service

There is increasing awareness that clinical training can be a particularly stressful time for student doctors.
In response to General Medical Council guidance regarding appropriate medical support (GMC 2013), the School of Clinical Medicine commissioned The Clinical Student Mental Health Service to provide rapid access to a Consultant Psychiatrist and, where necessary a Clinical Psychologist.
The service is designed for clinical students with a range of mental health issues where the student and their GP feel that specialist advice would be helpful.

How do I access the service?
The service can be accessed via referral from your GP or via The University's Occupational Health Service. If the referral is via your GP, they may advise a referral to occupational health if it is felt modifications in your work environment may be beneficial to your mental health.

Clinics are run by Dr Rebecca Jacob and Dr Amanda Burren.

Dr Jacob’s clinic usually runs on a Tuesday at Springbank Ward, Fulbourn Hospital, and on a Friday at Barton House Clinic, Keith Day Road, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

Dr Burren’s clinic usually runs on a Monday at Liaison Psychiatry, Block S2,Addenbookes Hospital Cambridge.

More details about Dr Jacob and Dr Burren are below

Clinical Psychology Services

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is an evidence-based psychological therapy recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). CBT looks closely at the relationship between our thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behaviour. The basic premise is that when we become depressed or anxious our thinking can become distorted which negatively impacts on our emotions and physiology and restricts our perception of what we can do to resolve the issue. CBT can help you move towards more positive cycles of thoughts, feelings and behaviour that are in line with the direction you would like to take.

We may also discuss historical experiences that you feel have contributed to your current difficulties, and help you start to put them behind you. CBT can help with a number of difficulties including depression, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia, obsessional compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, phobia and health anxiety. It can also be highly effective with other problems such as low self-esteem and stress.

What is IPT? (Interpersonal Therapy)

IPT is an evidence-based, time limited psychological treatment for depression. The central idea is that depression can be understood as a response to current difficulties in relationships. In turn, the symptoms of depression can also affect the quality of our relationships. The main focus of IPT is on relationship problems and on helping the person to identify how they are feeling and behaving in relationships. When a person is able to deal with relationship problems more effectively, their psychological symptoms often improve. IPT typically focuses on one of the following relationship difficulties; conflict with another person, life changes that affect how you feel about yourself or others, grief and loss, and persistent difficulties in starting or keeping relationship going.

What is EMDR? (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

EMDR is an evidence-based psychological treatment for PTSD. Recent research suggests it can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders and depression. EMDR helps process the memories of distressing events that may be contributing to current difficulties. It is based on the idea that these memories can sometimes get frozen at a neurological level which can result in intrusive symptoms such as flashbacks or nightmares. EMDR uses eye movement to stimulate the information processing system, allowing the memories to be put in the past where they no longer feel so distressing.

What to do in a mental health crisis

If you believe you or a person you care for is in a mental health crisis and in immediate need of help, there are several avenues you can take.

  • First Response Service: Call 111 and select option 2 calls will be answered 24/7 by trained mental health practitioners.
  • CPFT care co-ordinator: 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. If you are already receiving support from mental health services, the first point of contact should be your care co-ordinator. Your care plan will contain information on how to contact them. If they are not available, ask to speak to the clinician on duty.
  • Your GP: if you are in crisis and need immediate help, then please contact your GP.
  • Samaritans: If you feel you urgently need to speak to someone, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 116 123 (free call).

Who are we?
Dr Rebecca Jacob DPM ,MPhil, FRCPsych
I am a Consultant Psychiatrist at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, within the University of Cambridge.
My research interests include the study of medically unexplained symptoms, decision-making capacity and other medico-legal aspects of psychiatry, areas in which I have published and lectured. I have a particular interest in medical education and training, including ensuring the pastoral support of trainee doctors and have recently taken up the role of Core Psychiatry Training Programme Director in CPFT.
For several years, I have been involved in an advisory capacity to the School of Clinical Medicine, in signposting students with mental health needs to appropriate services. This was developed further and formalised in April 2015 as a specialist service for clinical students with mental health difficulties.
Should you attend my clinic, my role involves discussing your difficulties in detail and formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan. This may on occasion involve medication and/or a referral for psychological treatment usually (although not always) with my colleague Dr Amanda Burren.

Dr Amanda Burren BSc, MSc, DClinPsy, PgDip (CT)
I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), accredited with the British Association of the Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) and chartered by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
I have worked as a clinical psychologist in the NHS for more than ten years, specialising in the provision of psychological therapy for adults. I offer time-limited, evidence based treatments including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Contacting the service

Telephone: 01223 216167
(Freya Arthure,
Senior Administrator)

Write to: Clinical Student Mental Health Service, Box 190, S2 Outpatients, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ

The page was last updated on 18 December 2020 by lmarshall.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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