Home Tags Mental health

mental health

How to Navigate Accessibility Challenges While Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is meant to be a life-changing, eye-opening experience. One minute you’re studying in your uni hall, the next you’ve been whisked away to study and learn in Hong Kong, Germany, New Zealand, or the United States. 

Being an international student certainly has plenty of perks. However, studying abroad is not without its challenges. You may struggle to adapt to your new environment at first and can become a little homesick after the initial buzz fades. 

The challenge of studying abroad may be heightened if you have a physical or mental disability. Travelling alone can be trying, as some airlines continue to lag behind and fail to accommodate travellers with different needs. Some universities may also be behind the times, and fail to give you reasonable accommodations. 

But this doesn’t mean you should forgo the wonderful experience of studying abroad due to your disability. It just requires a little extra planning and preparation to ensure you have the experience you want. 

Medical Care / Insurance

Purchasing insurance can be daunting if you are used to national health services. Depending on the country you visit, your disability could end up increasing the premium you pay and make it more difficult to source appropriate insurance. 

Set up your insurance long before you fly to the country you will be visiting. The type of insurance you need depends on the length of your stay and your particular needs. Many countries offer insurance services that are catered directly to serve international students. 

Before you purchase insurance, reach out to your current university and the university you are due to study at. International departments typically have a list of appropriate providers and can help you work through your options to get the best fit. 

Flight Prep

Getting ready to jet off to a new country is exciting. The flight marks the start of your adventure, and a smooth travelling experience can make settling in that much easier. 

Unfortunately, not all airlines fulfil their responsibility to folks with disabilities. As such, you should do your due diligence and plan an accessible travel itinerary that suits you. This should include necessary accommodations like the medication you’ll need as well as technical aids, wheelchairs, or service animals. 

Once you’ve found the right airline, you’ll need to do a little prep of your own. You’ll want to bring anything you may need on the flight with you in your carry-on luggage. Just be sure that it is allowed on the flight, as some liquids and other objects may be confiscated before you board. 

If you’re flying from the U.K., it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the Civil Aviation Authorities’ accessibility webpage. The CAA affords rights to all passengers with disabilities and can offer assistance for things like wheelchairs on flights, assistance dogs, and medical equipment.  


Many accredited institutions around the world take their commitment to students with disabilities seriously. This means that you should receive accommodations and support from your university as you need it. 

You can ensure that you receive the accommodations you need while studying in a location you love by doing your research beforehand. For example, if you’re interested in studying in New Zealand, you can use UniTrust to find an institution with adequate support for medical services. 

It’s also worth reaching out to prospective universities to ask about their accessibility policies. Even a short email interaction can put your mind at ease or help you spot a red flag. You can even ask to speak with current students who have a similar disability to yourself to get their perspective. 

Doing the prep you need to receive accommodations can help ensure you settle in well and alleviate medical anxiety. Experiencing medical anxiety while travelling is entirely normal, as previous bad experiences may make you spiral. Seeking help and researching your options can help you avoid the worst of medical anxiety and ensure you stay focused on travelling and learning. 

Disability Services

Disability services differ from country to country. Sometimes adapting to a different country’s services can be frustrating, particularly if they aren’t up to date with the best practices and policies observed in your own. 

Before you fly, collect relevant resources that you may need while studying abroad. Start your search by collecting information from your new university’s disability/accessibility support webpage. You can even get in contact with folks from the university, as they can point you in the right direction and may offer to help you get up and running. 

You can also speak to your current service provider at home to see what they offer. Sometimes you can travel with their accommodations or technology and you may even be able to travel with your current carer.


Studying abroad is a life-changing experience. But, if you’re living with a disability, becoming an international student can be daunting. You can make the experience easier by making contact with your prospective universities and researching the accommodations they provide. Be sure to get the insurance that is right for you and liaise with your current service provider to see what they can offer. 

Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys writing about education, personal development, and technology. Frankie spends her free time cultivating her zero waste garden or off hiking in the mountains of the PNW with her loved ones.

How Social Interaction Can Increase Confidence In International Students

Good social interaction among international students generates a zestful relationship between a group and individuals. Most students face challenges with social interaction due to a lack of confidence. According to a survey conducted in the UK, only about 32 percent of students agreed that they had confidence in them.

A healthy sense of confidence is all about accepting one’s ability and quality. It develops interpersonal skills, helps you become more adaptable, and can get you to understand that one deserves respect from others.

The importance of confidence in international students should not be underestimated, as it brings happiness, according to multiple studies. These feelings will make it easier to maintain a higher level of enthusiasm and motivation. However, confidence brings you to fulfill your impossible dreams and achieve your goals and makes you keep moving when the going gets tough.  

Ways To Build Your Confidence As An International Student 

Challenges with mental health and confidence are very common in international students, which causes them to feel highly overwhelmed. As a result, it is more important to foster a healthy sense of confidence, to perform well in their academics.

Let’s have a look at some valuable tips which can shape the mindset of students to improve self-confidence.

1. On-Campus Friendship

International students face many problems in adapting to language, culture, and social activities. Sometimes their fashion and style support them to adjust in the environment. To enhance their engagement students often shop online at the beginning. Like owner of the premium Premium Jackets ibbi luke claims that their 40% online buyers are students. Personal engagement with friends and environment is really important and this can be adjusted through better on-campus friendships, which leads to positive cultural adjustment for international students.

Furthermore, friends within the university are able to help with a lot of in-class projects and never leave you alone during your hard times. Campus friendship is always alive and colorful, which brings good diversity to university life, as well as to the general culture.

2. Eliminating Language Barriers

Language gives rise to difficulties, as individuals with undeveloped language skills can’t convey their thoughts. The lack of communication skills resists them from completing their tasks such as presentations and assignments. According to a survey conducted by Assignment Assistance UK, most of the students who ask for academic help suffer from language issues, accommodation issues, and time management issues.

It has become a huge obstacle to academic success and social functioning. However, experts suggest that language is one of the common barriers to communication, particularly among Asian students. 

Many international students desire to be friends with the host country’s students and want to attend the campus programs, but their confidence won’t allow them to participate in these activities.

Language confidence is the biggest problem for international students when it comes to socializing. This issue can be solved by providing English language classes to the students, which will offer them language learning opportunities.

Students need to understand that the more they interact socially, the more they will get adopted to the local language. It will boost their confidence and will create significant comfort with their academics as well.

3. Getting A Local Job

Financial pressure is another problem faced by international students, especially about finding a method to pay a tuition fee and pay all the expenses by themselves. Therefore, the financial course of action becomes highly frustrating, as International students face various challenges when applying for the study loan.

In addition, most of the international students come from different countries, and their exchange rate in the US dollar or the local currencies is too high. This means they have to pay big bucks to study if they don’t get any of the final aid.

The most effective solution for financial stability is the availability of scholarships and jobs outside the university, which bring academic success to many international students. 

In order to avail these opportunities, the local students and your on-campus friends can help you. They are more aware of the job opportunities in their local areas, and they can help you get the job with ease.

Hence, being social with colleagues, and mates can create ways for you to lessen your financial burden that will ultimately boost the confidence level of a student.

4. Community Acceptance And Culture

Higher social interaction and social support result in cultural learning and competence. Without getting familiar with the surrounding, food, transportation, culture, and norms, it would become difficult to adopt an international curriculum.

According to DissertationAssistance, most of the students feel lonely as they miss their families and face problems when dealing with social acceptance. Moreover, international students feel stressed because of their unfamiliarity with the cultural environment and living in different educational systems and languages.

The most productive way to improve community support is to interact with domestic students, which provides international students with physiological support and knowledge of local culture.

5. Joining A Range Of Student Clubs And Societies

Societies and clubs are great ways to meet new people and add a unique experience to your CV. For international students, joining clubs and societies means to give a chance to explore new friends in a brand new country.

In student organizations and campus meetings, you might find new connections who share similar interests. This can make your experience better on campus and will make your future job easier. Moreover, many clubs and organizations guide international students around the world and help them to become more resilient and confident, which will surely pay off in their future careers.

6. Organizing Get-Togethers

Organizing a healthy get-together or picnic with new people is a great way to know each other’s culture and to enjoy an appetizing lunch. Social interaction has a positive effect on acculturative distress.

International students from all over the world should participate at least one or two times a week in off-campus intercultural interactions, which brings them great confidence.


A sense of confidence in international students helps to avoid depression and anxiety and break out of the cycle of overthinking. Hence an attempt should be made to encourage international students to attend community events since social interaction and social persuasion play an important role in increasing their confidence level.

Language, cultural, social, and financial issues may create a radial effect that negatively influences international students’ ability. However, getting in touch with the local students and socializing oneself can significantly help international students to overcome these issues.

Claudia Jeffrey is currently working as an R&D Expert at CrowdWriter UK. She aims to assist students with choosing their careers and academic courses. Claudia loves to travel and try new cuisines. She has a cute dog named Ellie.

Getting Ahead of the Stress-Nutrition-Sleep Cycle for International Students

Being able to study abroad in a new environment is an exciting opportunity for any student. You can fully immerse yourself in a new culture and learn things that you would never be able to pick up from a book. 

However, while studying internationally can be fun and exciting, it can also create some mental and physical health concerns if you don’t address them right away (ideally before you set foot on the plane!). 

Some of the biggest issues international students face are not getting enough sleep, dealing with extra stress, and improper nutrition. The workload and expectations of school combined with a new environment can wreak havoc on your mind and body if you don’t take proactive steps to manage your well-being. 

Unfortunately, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can fall into a vicious cycle. By not getting enough sleep, you’ll increase your stress levels. Increased stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits and make it harder to sleep. 

So, what can you do? How can you get ahead of the stress-nutrition-sleep cycle and enjoy your time abroad to the fullest?

Reducing Stress

As a student, you might think stress is just a normal part of life. While a little bit of stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing, too much can impact your well-being in a variety of ways. It can contribute to:

  • Mental health issues
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Strokes

When combined with a lack of nutrition and not enough sleep, too much stress can also cause skin problems, including psoriasis and eczema. 

Stress doesn’t just take a toll on your health. It can contribute to a negative cycle that causes your sleep to suffer. It can already be difficult for international students to maintain a healthy sleep schedule when they’re in a new time zone. Stress only makes it worse. The more “anxious” you are when you try to sleep each night, the harder it will be to get the sleep you need. You might also start to reach for foods that provide comfort or start to eat out of boredom, which can throw off your well-being even further.

So, what can you do to manage stress? 

First, don’t devote your entire life to studying. It’s important, but you’re in a new country – take advantage of that! Dive into a new hobby, take part in extracurricular activities, and think positively about your unique experience. By finding small ways to de-stress each day, you’ll make better, healthier choices in other areas of your life. 

Eating Better

There are plenty of stereotypes surrounding students and unhealthy eating habits. Hopefully, if you’re studying in a place like Italy or France, you’re not going to be microwaving ramen noodles on a nightly basis. However, you can still throw a wrench in your nutrition by indulging in pizza and pasta every day. While you should absolutely try the incredible creations each country is known for (we’re looking at you, French pastries!), it’s important to maintain healthy eating habits while studying abroad. 

The old saying, “you are what you eat” rings true in many ways. 

Maintaining a healthy diet can help to give you energy, improve your physical health, and have a profound impact on your mental well-being. Stress tends to impact your nutrition, causing you to reach for comfort foods or overeat too often. Studies have shown that diets rich in whole foods are associated with less depression, stress, and anxiety. 

Eating poorly can also make it harder to get adequate sleep. Not only can a lack of nutrients lead to sleep problems, but eating something acidic, high in sugar, or high in fat can also make it difficult to get to sleep. Again, that contributes to the vicious cycle, creating even bigger problems for your time abroad.  

You don’t have to restrict yourself completely when it comes to your diet in another country. Have fun and enjoy regional cuisine. However, make sure you’re practicing mindful eating, rather than reaching for something when you’re stressed or bored. The more mindful you are of each bite, the more you’ll appreciate it. 

Getting Enough Sleep

We’ve touched briefly on how sleep plays into the stress and nutrition cycle, but how are they all connected? Sleep and stress are extremely interwoven. The less sleep you get, the more stressed you’re likely to feel. The more stressed you are, the less sleep you’ll get. 

While reducing your stress levels is important, it’s just as essential to form healthy sleep habits and even to develop a nighttime routine. Students are, once again, stereotyped when it comes to getting enough sleep. You don’t need to fall into those stereotypes and stay up all night. Instead, practice positive sleep hygiene by:

  • Going to sleep at the same time each night
  • Waking up at the same time each morning
  • Stopping the use of digital devices an hour before bed
  • Not drinking alcohol or caffeine several hours before bed
  • Setting up an ideal sleep environment

From sleeping and eating to finding ways to de-stress, getting ahead of this harmful cycle is crucial when you’re studying abroad. Taking charge of your health and fitness now will benefit you later in life, especially when you’re starting to search for a career. You’ll have a greater ability to concentrate and you’ll know how to navigate your surroundings. Start putting these suggestions into practice now, and you’ll be able to better enjoy your international experience, as well as a brighter future. 

Huge thanks to Frankie Wallace for this guest post. Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys writing about education, personal development, and technology. Frankie spends her free time cultivating her zero waste garden or off hiking in the mountains of the PNW with her loved ones.

How College Students Are Advocating for More Mental Health Programs

You may have been dreaming of “the college experience” for a long time. You may have been yearning for the opportunity to break out on your own, to begin living life on your own terms, rather than under the ever-watchful eyes of your parents or guardians. However, every college student realizes sooner or later that the college experience isn’t always all it was cracked up to be. In fact, for many students, college can be overwhelming, frightening, and even downright heartbreaking at times.

Fortunately, students, families, faculty, and administrators alike are increasingly recognizing the mental health challenges that so often accompany college life. Even more importantly, they are taking proactive steps to help prevent them, and it’s often the students themselves who are leading the way. 

Indeed, with college students increasingly advocating for more mental health programs on campus, they’re demonstrating that you don’t have to risk your mental and emotional wellbeing in the pursuit of academic excellence. With the appropriate mental health support, students can enjoy both academic success and optimal mental health. 

Destigmatizing Mental Illness on Campus

One of the most important aspects of mental health advocacy by college students is simply the stigmatization that results. Now more than ever, college students are opening up about the mental health challenges they face and the ways that college administrators, faculty, and fellow students can intervene with support, understanding, and evidence-based solutions, from counseling to peer support to medical interventions. 

As the discourse surrounding mental health expands on college campuses nationwide, so too do efforts to accommodate students’ psychological needs. This includes the proliferation of “safe spaces” on campus, areas where students can go to decompress when they need refreshment and solitude at the end of a challenging day or where they can find a listening ear when they need counsel and comfort.

True Inclusivity

As college campuses embrace the discussion of mental health and the cultivation of environments that support students’ mental well-being, they are also simultaneously creating a more diverse and inclusive environment. 

This is particularly true for students who may otherwise have been reluctant or unable to attend college due to a pre-existing mental illness. With increasing awareness and accommodation of mental health issues, faculty and administrators alike are better trained and more fully equipped to support the health and success of students with mental illness. 

For instance, college campuses provide an array of resources for students experiencing psychological and emotional challenges, including depression, anxiety, substance use disorders (SUD), and even hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders (ADHD). These resources typically include mental health counseling, student learning/academic support centers, and programs designed to provide individualized support for students with disabilities and those experiencing physical and mental illnesses.

Promoting Wellness

As students’ understanding of mental health increases on campuses, so, too, do opportunities for students to engage in behaviors that protect their mental well-being. For example, research has shown that the profound mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic include not only stress, anxiety, and depression, but also significant and pervasive sleep disturbances.

The phenomenon, often referred to as “coronasomnia,” speaks to the sleep deprivation that vast segments of the population are currently experiencing due both to the distress of the pandemic and the disruptions in the daily routine that the virus has instigated. Because college students are always already at high risk of sleep deprivation because of academic and social pressures, the amplification of the issue in the post-pandemic era means that college students today are at especially high risk of suffering the mental health harms of sleep deprivation.

As a result, faculty, administrators, and support personnel should educate students in cultivating proper “sleep hygiene.” This, along with the use of counselors, safe spaces, and other mental health resources is helping students cultivate a lifestyle that supports their mental well-being while increasing their chances for academic success. For example, college mental health programs are helping students learn to manage college stressors, thus reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, and burnout.

The Takeaway

College can indeed be a magical time of life. Students may be living away from home for the first time. They are taking their first real steps into adulthood. They are discovering who they are and what they want their future to look like. However, along with these important rites of passage come myriad stressors for which college students may be unprepared, including academic, financial, and social pressures. It is little wonder, then, that college students should be at risk for developing mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. However, college students’ advocacy for more mental health programs is going far to destigmatize mental illness on campus and cultivate learning environments that support students’ mental well-being, inclusion, and academic success even in the face of mental health challenges.

Huge thanks to Frankie Wallace for this guest post. Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys writing about education, personal development, and technology. Frankie spends her free time cultivating her zero waste garden or off hiking in the mountains of the PNW with her loved ones.

Preventing and Coping with Academic Burnout

Academic burnout is a long-term condition that leaves you feeling frustrated and unmotivated with impacts on your schoolwork and concentration. It can be very common for those of us feeling the pressure to do well in school, especially for those with a fear of failure or with other outside stressors. This article hopes to help you identify the symptoms of academic burnout, find out what you can do to prevent it, and guide you on recovery if it occurs.

How do I know I’m Experiencing Burnout?

Burnout symptoms tend to manifest in overwhelming fatigue that is further aggravated by insomnia or other sleeping problems. It has ties to anxiety and depression with many sufferers feeling a lack of motivation, low moods, confidence loss and an increase in unhealthy habits.

“Students suffering from burnout will find that they are unable to focus on coursework leading to potential missed deadlines and further decreasing confidence in abilities,” warns Pamela McBride an educator at Elite assignment help and State of writing.

What can I do to Prevent Burnout?

The most obvious advice though the hardest to follow is to actually take breaks in your schoolwork. Make time throughout the week to stop and reset, weekends make the best time for this if you can. You hear a lot of people talk about work-life balance, but they forget that this is true for schoolwork as well. Taking time for a real break away from what stresses you out will give you some time to reset and recover before the stress becomes overwhelming.

Throughout the week try and exercise frequently, spend some time outside and make time for activities you enjoy and time with your friends to help you get some more work-life balance. Look after yourself, make sure to stay hydrated and reflect on what is stressing you out. If it is the workload try and set more achievable goals and avoid procrastination. Develop a good relationship with your professors and tutors so that you can discuss with them when you are feeling overwhelmed and get advice. Remember, your tutors and professors want you to succeed.

Finally, take a step back and look at the whole picture. It’s hard to do and students may feel guilty or uncomfortable but it’s important to look at what you’re doing and see if it’s the right path for you. So many of us try to please our parents with our choice in career or study, but at the end of the day, it is you who has to live with the outcomes. If something isn’t aligned with your interests or causes you distress then it may be time to look for a new course of study. 

How do I Recover from Burnout?

The first thing about recovering from burnout is to try and not feel ashamed or upset that you are experiencing issues. Don’t ignore the issue in hopes it will go away and avoid comparing yourself to others. While on the surface things may seem fine and dandy you never know what’s happening behind the scenes.

It’s the hardest part for many but asking for help is a large step forward to recovery. Speak to any counsellors your school provides and look into other mental health professionals available to you. Speak with friends, family and teachers to explain the situation and build up a support network.

Psychology writer Tiffany Hedges, Revieweal and OX Essays, advises, “Asking for help is something none of us want to do, especially when we already feel shame that we aren’t able to do something that seems to come easily to others.  But everyone has something that they struggle with, it’s part of being human.”

Recognise the symptoms you are suffering and try and manage the amount of stress you are under. If you recognise some of the symptoms in yourself it’s time to make some major changes. Try looking into mindfulness and attempt to build more breaks into your day to allow you to decompress. Look at your workload and break it down into smaller chunks and then use your own judgement to sort tasks into must-dos, should dos, might dos and won’t dos. You’d be surprised how much extra work you put on yourself without realising.


Burnout is all too common and is especially precedent given the overall number of external stressors in recent years. Remember to manage your schedules and build in frequent breaks. Look after yourself and be open when you are having issues. There is no shame in asking for help and you are not weak for doing so.  Do what’s right for you and the rest will follow.

Christina Lee, project manager at Law essay and Buy assignment, writes articles for various sites like Big Assignments on marketing news and technologies.

Dyslexia at University

It is said that up to 10% of the population falls somewhere on the Dyslexia spectrum. And it’s not uncommon for most people to find out while they’re at University.

Dyslexia is simply a learning difficulty, due to different brain wiring. It does not impact your intelligence. Typically, it makes reading, writing, and maths challenging and it can also have an impact on your short-term memory. Of course, this can make studying at University harder, but it is by no means impossible.

Should I tell my tutors I am Dyslexic?

This is a personal choice, but it will most likely be beneficial to tell your academic tutors and teachers that you’re dyslexic. It means they can make exceptions for you, if necessary. And, if anything, it will make them more understanding if you start to struggle with your coursework or meeting deadlines at a later date. It could also be a nice way to introduce yourself to your tutor, and help them to remember your name. You won’t be penalised or discriminated against for informing your tutors about your dyslexia.

 Additionally, your teachers can also inform you about the disability services your University offers (as Dyslexia is recognised as a disability).

What can my University do for me?

This is case-by-case and it will differ from University to University. Typically, you might get offered extra time in exams and for essay deadlines. You can also have a reader in an exam to help you, be given a laptop to write with, and get a Dyslexic sticker you put on your essays so they do not penalise you. It is worth talking to your tutors/University to find out how they can help.

Can I go to University?

Of course you can! If you achieve the required entry grades, then no one can stop you! Dyslexia doesn’t mean that you should view yourself any differently or any less deserving of a place at university. While you might feel anxious about other students being ‘better’ than you, this is irrelevant. Everyone learns differently, and being different is a good thing.

Are there any famous Dyslexics?

Duh! Dyslexics are said to be way more creative due to the way their brains are wired. Here are just a few:

  • Richard Branson
  • John Lenon
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Keira Knightley
  • Holly Willoughby
  • Maggie Aderin-Pocock
  • Leonardo Da Vinci

Do not let your diagnosis of Dyslexia make you feel like you can’t achieve great things, especially at University! Universities are very open to accommodating the Learning Disability. You may get extra marks in your essays/exams for creativity and original ideas due to your disability. Don’t see it as a burden, rather use it to empower you to work harder. Prove the stereotype wrong.

Your Mental Health at University – How To Get Support

May is Mental Health Awareness month, so we wanted to take the opportunity to talk about mental health at university. According to UCAS, there has been a 450% increase in student mental health declarations over the last decade. With more awareness and acceptance of mental health conditions now than ten years ago, this isn’t surprising. But it does show that students at university are particularly vulnerable to having poor mental health.

Joanna Dale, a Student Advisor at the University of Sussex, tells us about the University’s approach to Mental Health.

“I’m an advisor in the Student Life Centre, which is part of a wider Student Experience Team at Sussex University. The Student Life Centre supports students during challenging or difficult times which often affect their mental wellbeing. We want students to feel they can open up about their mental health and talk honestly about what they are going through.

“Sometimes students come to the Student Life Centre and have never spoken to anyone about their mental health before. That is a very important moment for them and we take what they tell us very seriously and listen carefully. We talk with students about how they experience their mental health issues and what might help them. This can include other University services such as the counselling service, the specialist disability unit or the campus & residential team. We also signpost to a range of external resources in the local area and support students to engage with those services.”

“We encourage students to develop their autonomy and find ways to boost their wellbeing and build emotional resilience. Fostering a culture of openness and acceptance around mental health is a core value in our work. We all need support at times and no one should feel they have to manage on their own. We want students to feel part of a community where we all care about each other”.

If you’re worried about your mental health at university, we hope Joanna’s words will inspire you to talk to someone about it. University can be a very stressful time for young people that are studying at a high level and living away from home for the first time. It’s very normal to feel down or put out by the university experience. All universities will run specialist services for mental health, counselling and learning support, so it’s important to use these services if you feel like you’re struggling. Confide in your friends and others, and don’t ‘deal with it’ alone. You’re never alone.

Why not read our article about Mental Health Awareness Month.

Celebrating…World Mental Health Day 2019

Within the same week, World Teachers’ Day and World Mental Health Day are being celebrated. A crisis is being recognised around the world by educators and legislators alike, so continue reading for a short summary of services available at universities for students who need a little extra help managing their personal wellbeing.

Click here for the dedicated World Teachers’ Day article.

World Mental Health Day

Since 1992, World Mental Health Day has been celebrated on 10th October. It has become a day for awareness, campaigns and charity events which help to focus the public’s attention onto mental health issues.It is also an opportunity to flag up to the world exactly what has been done to support the vulnerable in our society…and to identify what still needs to be done.

On 9th September 2019, the World Health Organisation published an article claiming that due to a lack of awareness or legislated strategies to support the most in-need in a range of countries around the world, one person every 40 seconds are dying from their mental health. This may seem extreme or exaggerated but with suicide being the biggest killer of men aged 45 and under in the UK, it’s actually frighteningly true. Universities, colleges and schools are tackling the issues head on with a range of initiatives.

Student support

Every University will have a student services team that can assist you with day-to-day queries about life at University. Did you know that there are also dedicated people to support students when it all gets a bit too much, too? Harper Adams University in Shropshire recently won a UK accolade as the best University for student welfare. Perhaps due to the type of courses they offer – in farming and agricultural careers – there is a focus on integration and support for students. As 1 in 4 young women in the UK reported feeling lonely in modern society, this is clearly a necessary service being provided.

Online access to resources

The Unlonely Film Festival is an online festival in which students and budding auteurs can upload their content. The aim is to promote inclusivity and to share their experiences of loneliness. Run by the Unlonely Project, a group designed to use creative expression to combat loneliness, the festival is now in its third year and has gained the attention of television and written media alike. It’s been found that feeling isolated is as large a risk to health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Raising awareness of the increasing social issue of loneliness, the charity encourages contributions that inspire as well as open up opportunites for dialogue.

On campus support

California Institute of Technology, or CalTech to friends, is 2nd in the world rankings of academic offerings. Perhaps part of the reason is due to the dedicated online and on campus support offered by the wellness team to ensure that students of the colleges at the university feel secure and safe to learn and excel. Nobel Prize winners, Turing award holders and more have passed through their doors and many students now feel the pressure to perform in this world-class school. However counsellors, drop in services and peer mentors mean that if you attend this establishment you will be well looked after. No wonder their results are so impressive, with that level of dedication to their students.

Any university has a responsibility to their students but as young people’s voices grow louder and their needs are more clearly expressed, establishments are scrabbling to compete for student satisfaction. This can only be a good thing for those poeple this World Mental Health Day who need a little extra support.


If you are feeling overwhelmed or in need of help, research what your university offers, or access charity support available 24/7 by phone or online.

Samaritans UK – https://www.samaritans.org/

Samaritans USA – http://www.samaritansusa.org/

UK Office for Students Announces £14.5m Mental Health Programme

As you know, we at i-STUDENTglobal take mental health very seriously and have already posted about it a few times.

Finally, it appears that the UK government is taking it seriously too, with the announcement from the Office for Students that a £14.5m Mental Health Programme will be put in place to help university students with mental health problems.

10 UK Universities will be given this funding to improve their mental health resources and research. Feedback from this programme will then be implemented throughout all UK Higher Education Institutions.

But why is this much funding necessary?

94% of Higher Education Institutions reported strain on their counselling services due to high demand.

Students have reported high levels of anxiety, with 42.8% often or always worried. 87.7% said they struggled with feelings of anxiety – an increase of 18.7% since 2017 figures – and 33% reported suffering from loneliness often or all the time.

The Mental Health Foundation revealed that students suffering from mental health disorders may also be more likely to drop out of university; statistics highlight a 210% increase in university dropouts among students with mental health problems from 2009/10 to 2014/15.

The University of Nottingham is one of the Universities funded by the Office for Students Mental Health Programme and is undergoing a drastic change in how they handle mental health. To see if your University is part of the Programme, click here.

We spoke to Jahan Jiwa, a former first-year Classic Civilisation Undergraduate Student at the University of Nottingham, who dropped out of University in 2017 due to her mental health problems.

Jahan Jiwa, former Classic Civilisations Undergraduate

What disorders do you have, and how did these disorders impact your time at University?

“I suffer from BPD which was diagnosed in 2016. I also suffer from severe depression and GAD. These were diagnosed in 2013 and 2016, respectively. I struggled with a low mood and found it very difficult to socialise with my peers and attend lectures. It was very difficult for me to complete coursework on time and I was constantly asking for extensions.”

Did you approach the University about your disorder? How did they help/fail to help?

“I had spoken to the welfare support team ahead of my arrival and they arranged for my coursework extensions to be easier to access once I had spoken to my GP. This was very helpful because it meant I just had to fill in a form and submit it after the original deadline had passed, instead of getting approval from GP every time I required an extension. However, the waiting list for therapy was over 4 months long.”

What would you change about how Nottingham University helped you?

“I wish my professors and tutor had been more sympathetic towards my struggles. They were very dismissive of my disorder. But more importantly, I wish I could receive the therapy I needed sooner than 4 months!”

Is there any advice or anything else you would want to share to a student who has the same disorder as you?

“Do your best to arrange therapy as soon as you can because the waiting lists are sometimes up to six months long. Make sure you have a solid support system because you will need it, especially when it’s deadline/exam season. Some universities will also offer smaller rooms for exams and/or bursaries for students with mental health issues so speak to someone on the welfare team and get these set in place asap.”

Jahan now works as a tutor, which she finds very fulfilling. Jahan writes poems as a form of therapy, the poems are free to access on her blog here. You can follow Jahan on Twitter @assphrodite__, and on Instagram @wtfjahan .