Students are being encouraged to speak out after a sudden death at the University of Canterbury.

A woman student died at the university's halls of residence on Saturday night. Police have confirmed the death is not suspicious and has been referred to the coroner.

New Zealand Union of Student's Association president Linsey Higgins said it was important students were active in getting support if they needed it in light of the tragedy.

"We just encourage people to seek help if they need it."


She said the death would be taking its toll on the students, particularly given it is an especially stressful time of year as end-of-year assignments and exams loom.

"Mental health, depression and anxiety are huge issues for university students," Higgins said.

She said students should also be looking to help out their peers.

"It's important to be prepared to listen as well."

University of Canterbury spokesman Phil Barclay said the university will be bringing in extra counselling services.

"We have a range of support available, we do have health services on campus and we are making sure we have sufficient resource available should that be necessary."

Acting vice-chancellor Dr Hamish Cochrane said the university is "very mindful it has occurred in the period leading up to exams and end-of-year assessments".

University staff have been assisting students at the hall, and all students and staff have been advised of the support available.


The university offers free counselling services to students.

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.