The Director of Wellbeing who is inspiring collective and holistic wellbeing


When Nqobile Msomi was a teacher in South Africa, it was her early experiences in the classroom that motivated her to retrain as a Counselling Psychologist and begin a professional journey in the mental health and wellbeing space.

“It was my training as a teacher and experiences in the classroom that ignited my interest in wellbeing. I soon discovered that wellbeing was a key pillar to a student’s academic development, progress and excellence.”  

Nqobile retrained to become a Counselling Psychologist and it was during her time managing the Psychology Clinic at Rhodes University in South Africa that her passion for student wellbeing and community-based practice really took hold. A large part of her work there was repositioning the Psychology Clinic to become a community-based service for the local majority.  

“The African philosophy of Ubuntu, which loosely translates to “I am because you are”, guides my practice. Ubuntuism perfectly encapsulates how wellness-of-the-Self is inextricably linked to community. The more we return to community and set up systems that embrace diversity, where variance is normalised, then we shall cultivate a strong sense of collective and holistic wellbeing for us all”. 

“I came to St Edmund’s to contribute to its alignment with the Collegiate community’s Mental Health Change Programme, driven by Central Student Services. Student mental health is a priority area across the higher education landscape. Cambridge is a place where people from all over the world converge, so there is great opportunity to develop services that support our multicultural community.” 

“I myself identify as a young Black woman from the Global South. I now find myself in the Global North asking questions like “what does wellbeing look like for a multicultural community?” and “how do we embed inclusivity into the systems and thus enable people to thrive?” These are challenging questions and Nqobile looks forward to discovering the answers. 

About Nqobile

Nqobile Msomi is counselling psychologist and espouses a situated psychology, guided by the values and principles of community and African-centred psychologies. Having previously co-ordinated Rhodes University’s Psychology Clinic, a community-based training institution for counselling and clinical psychologists, she is now positioned at Cambridge University’s St Edmund’s College as the Director of Student Wellbeing. Her work in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa involved building partnerships between the education and charity sectors, as well as supporting professional practice and development in mental health and wellbeing. Her research interests lie in the area of community psychology. 

The Wellbeing Office provides a number of student services, including: 

  • Health and wellbeing support 
  • Wellbeing one-on-one support  
  • Regular wellbeing events  

Learn more about our Student Wellbeing Support.