Student health and wellness

27 January 2024
Campus Life 2024 - Student Wellness
The Student Wellness Service (SWS) provides medical and counselling services to students at primary healthcare level. Photo Lerato Maduna.

UCT works hard to create a safe and nurturing environment for all students. We offer you a wide range of support services with the understanding that your wellness goes beyond physical health. Our services include health counselling, mental health services, and support for students with disabilities.

Student Wellness Service

The Student Wellness Service (SWS) provides medical and counselling services to students at primary healthcare level. The service is there to help you make healthy lifestyle choices about nutrition, alcohol, safe sex, relationships, and stress management, among others – all in support of academic success.

The SWS offers:

  • Medical service: Make an appointment on the UCT App or SWS website for an online or face-to-face consultation with a clinical nurse practitioner or medical practitioner. The service offers support for acute and chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, tuberculosis; and also helps with minor surgical procedures.
  • Pharmacy service: This service is available to students who have a valid prescription from an SWS clinician. Students can also walk in and get medication as they normally would at any other pharmacy, and essential medication is sold at a cost. Students can book to collect repeat medication online. UCT’s pharmacy is located in the Ivan Toms Building.
  • Mental health support: Counselling services are available via an appointment for a virtual or face-to-face consultation with a psychologist, social worker or registered counsellor. There is the Ivan Toms clinic as well as satellite offices around campus. Students need to confirm the consultation venue with the therapist after making a booking on the UCT App or SWS website. SWS provides mental health support and can make referrals for specialised support and care.
    • The UCT Student Careline is a telephonic service available 24/7 on 0800 24 25 26 (free from a Telkom line) or you can SMS 31393 for a call-back. They offer counselling, advice, referral facilities and general support if you are facing any mental health challenges or emotional distress.
    • Download the Panda App for online mental health and well-being support in the palm of your hand. Access free, anonymous and virtual group support sessions in the Panda Forest as well as various other mental health resources through the Panda app.
      Step 1: Search for “Join Panda” in the iOS, Android or Huawei app store.
      Step 2: Download the app and create an anonymous user profile.
      Step 3: Use the promo code “SWSCares” to unlock free one-to-one text-based chat support sessions.
  • Sexual health support: HIV testing and counselling, medication for sexually transmitted infections, and basic contraceptives are provided free of charge.

SWS gives you easy access to a clinical nurse practitioner, psychologist, social worker, counsellors and peer educators via their online platform.

Students can call and obtain nursing advice on the triage line on 021 650 5620 from 08:30 to 16:30.

In a medical emergency, call the Campus Protection Services Risk Operation Centre at 021 650 2222 to dispatch the UCT Medical Emergency Response Team.

Visit us at the Ivan Toms Building, 28 Rhodes Avenue, Mowbray
021 650 1017/20

Queries may be sent to the SWS practice manager at

For more information, visit the SWS website.

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