Resource: Tool-kit for Your Mental Health at University
May 12, 2020
When a student joins University, they expect the experience to be exciting and fulfilling. The challenge of juggling your classes with social engagements and appointments keeps them on their toes constantly. But sometimes, the pressure can assume unmanageable proportions.
If you find yourself feeling sad for days at a stretch, or if your anxious thoughts seem to spiral out of control, it is best to reach out for help. This could be anything, from professional help to a self-help workbook or meditation class.
It doesn’t help that there is a strong taboo around the subject. But do not hesitate in reaching out for help. Remember, it is imperative that you are kind to yourself.
Here we are listing a number of resources that serve different purposes towards the same goal: emotional health.
University Counseling support
Universities in the UK have a dedicated staff providing counselling and psychological services. You can either book a walk-in appointment that lets you have a one-off session where the professional can assess what you are going through and direct you to either resources that can be helpful or sign you up for a longer series of counselling sessions.
University provisions for relaxations
Certain universities also have provisions for academic relaxations if your mental healthcare professional thinks that you would benefit from some adjustments. Mental health issues are now considered valid when applying for mitigating or extenuating circumstances for any exams or coursework that is impacted due to the issues. This is, however, done according to the policy of each University and is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Unfortunately, there are often long queues and waiting lists for the counselling sessions offered by the University. While this is an indication that you are not alone in feeling anxious or depressed, it also means support gets delayed. Therefore, it must be mentioned that nothing can be a good substitute for a robust support system. So try to have a close-knit circle of friends/classmates/flatmates who you can confide in about how you are feeling.
Unions often have a student advice center. If you are feeling emotionally distressed, it is advisable to pay them a visit because they can then guide you on all the aspects of your student life that this has an impact: from accommodation to finances, to part-time jobs (if any) and of course, academic engagements.
The Samaritans – available 24 x7, on 116 123
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 9am to 10pm, weekends and bank holidays 2pm to 10pm
Text 07860 039967
Nightline support run by your University
Mind Charity UK: 0300 123 3393
9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
Other Online Support Services
Big White Wall provides peer-to-peer support and emphasises on community and connectedness. The moderators on the platform are trained and professionals are also available.
Stonewall offer lots of advice and support groups for LGBT+ people seeking mental health guidance
Happiful magazine provides informative, inspiring and topical stories about mental health and wellbeing. They also have a Counselling Directory which you can access to get details of psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
There are many mobile apps available on both Android and iOS, which serve various purposes to help you build emotional resilience.