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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.

Conclusion

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 .

Tips for Coping with a Mental Health Disorder at University

May is International Mental Health Awareness month. As the rate of people suffering from mental health disorders increases, so does the importance of awareness. University students are one of the most at-risk and vulnerable demographics to fall victim to poor mental health. We thought that we would share our terrific top ten tried-and-tested tips for coping with a mental health disorder while at University.

If you haven’t already, why not read our in-depth feature article on Mental Health here?

Seek some help!

this sounds very obvious but some people truly struggle to know where to begin on their mental health journey. If you would like more information about where to turn for help, then click here

Download some Apps

Admittedly, this seems like a very millennial approach to wellbeing. However, there are plenty of Apps out there specifically geared towards aiding mindfulness. I recommend Calm, Headspace, and Breathe (all available for free on iOS).

Listen to a Podcast

finding other people with the same illness as you can really help you to learn some invaluable coping methods. I recommend ‘Adult Sh*t’ and ‘Hannahlyze This’ for anyone suffering from Depression or Anxiety disorder. They are so funny, and helpful! They are available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube.

Take care of your body

Feeling better on the outside can do wonders for feeling better on the inside. Yes, count macros, go for a run, blah blah blah. But also have a bubble bath or paint your nails a fun colour!

Set yourself small goals

Setting goals which are unreasonable is just going to make you feel worse when you fail them, especially when getting out of bed feels like an achievement in itself. Setting a goal of ‘I am going to read a chapter of my reading’ or ‘I am going to write 500 words of my essay’ or ‘I am going to have a shower AND cook a lovely dinner for myself’ are perfectly acceptable goals. Congratulate yourself for achieving these goals, and perhaps even reward yourself. (ie. If I study for a whole hour today then I am allowed to watch tonight’s episode of Love Island – starting 3rd June for you fans out there!!)

Work-Life Balance

We actually have an article of tips for finding a Uni Work/Life balance, click here to give it a read!

Put your phone down

Shocking concept, I know, but hear me out. Us millennials are genuinely addicted to our phones. Fake picture-perfect lives on social media, and people knowing your location 24/7 on SnapMaps can really eat away at your mental wellbeing. Taking a walk, even around the block, without your phone and air pods can do you the world of good. Sometimes you need to have time alone with your thoughts. You know, like how they did in the olden days. Proper vintage.

Clean your room

If you have not heard of Marie Kondo or Mrs Hinch then I command you to google them immediately. These two are the kweens of decluttering and deep-cleaning. Whenever I get into a mental health rut I notice that my surroundings physically manifest how my mind is. I find that when I clean up I feel immediately calmer and zen. Feng shui, that is the key to a happy soul.

Reassess

“Now I’m here in this sticky situation // Got a little trouble, yep now I’m pacing” to quote the wise words of the great Karmin.

But seriously, this is a concept we are all too familiar with. Toxic friend? Cut them out. Controlling partner? Chuck them. If someone is causing you mental distress, then perhaps now is the time to cut them out of your life. It is a scary and hard thing to do, and may even make you feel worse immediately. But, in the long run, it will be better for your mental health. The moral of this is to reassess your priorities, and ensure that you are putting yourself first.

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Having a mental disorder is a form of disability. Someone with broken legs would not be angry at themselves for not being able to walk, so why would someone with Depression be angry at themselves for not being motivated? It is fine to feel frustrated at the situation, but being frustrated at yourself for something that you literally can not control is ludicrous.

Do not say anything mean to yourself that you would not dare say to a loved one. Remember that you are only human, and it is okay not to be okay.

Over the course of Mental Health Awareness month, we will be updating the site with various articles about mental health. Keep checking back here so you do not miss a post.

Your Mental Health at University

May is International Mental Health Awareness month. As the rate of people suffering from mental health disorders increases, so does the importance of awareness. University students are one of the most at-risk and vulnerable demographics to fall victim to poor mental health.

Click here to read our top tips on coping with a mental health disorder at University.

Why is the rate of Mental Health increasing?

This is a loaded question with three main answers. The first being that there have been leaps and bounds in Psychological studies, with more mental health disorders being identified (for example, the most recently Binge-Eating Disorder and Hoarding Disorder have been recognised, which are not exactly unusual amongst University students). With more recognised mental disorders, naturally more and more people are being diagnosed. Back in the day, someone might have been labelled as ‘a bit weird’, but now we have real scientific backing to explain their behaviours.

Secondly, stigmas surrounding mental health are slowly being broken down. Movements such as Mental Health Awareness month, as well as more exposure in the media (films, TV shows, social media) have debunked many misconceptions of certain mental health disorders. With more public awareness and less stigma, people are more likely to come forward and reveal that they have been suffering from a disorder.

For example, Harvard Medical School psychiatrist, Dr Steven Scholzman, said on the 2012 blockbuster film ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, “It’s Hollywood, so there are going to be things that are there more for the story than for accuracy. But they did a very nice job of depicting manic depressive illness or bipolar disorder“.

However, Hollywood still has a long way to go in terms of accurately portraying mental health disorders. 2016 blockbuster ‘Split’, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, was highly criticised for its portrayal of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). James McAvoy’s character has DID, and *spoilers* turns out to be a serial murderer. Psychotherapist Elizabeth Howell warns that the film, “raises dangerous attitudes to emerge and for people with the illness to be damaged“.

The third school of thought is that mental health diagnoses are increasing simply because the pressures of modern society are causing more people to actually become mentally ill. We are in the age of 24/7 connectivity, where our whole lives are being shared online. There is not time to just ‘switch off’. You can read your work emails from home, see your grades while still in bed, and have your location shared for everyone to see.

It is not just celebrities in magazines who are being photoshopped to look prettier and thinner- your friends and family have their own apps for that on their phones! People are sharing their successes online, and hiding their failures. It is no wonder that societal pressures in this new age of technology are making a massive impact on our mental health.

Why are University students more vulnerable to Mental Health Disorders?

Students are more likely to develop poor mental health for a variety of reasons; they are typically online more. So, the pressures of social media influence them a great deal more than it would their parents or their grandparents. Click here to read more about coping with the pressures of being a student.

Additionally, due to the growing holes in the economy and the rarity value even basic jobs hold now (1/3 of graduates have jobs that they are overqualified for, according to The Telegraph), there is more emphasis on making your CV as strong as possible. Many students see it as ‘not good enough’ to just have a degree: to stand out you need to be captain of a sports team, have a long list of work experience, be fluent in another language, volunteer for two hours each day, solve world hunger, be the first man to land on Jupiter, etc. All whilst getting yourself into ridiculous amounts of tuition debt. A work-life balance seems harder and harder to achieve. Click here to read our tips on balancing studies and life commitments.

“75% OF STUDENTS REPORTED HAVING EXPERIENCED PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS WHILE AT UNIVERSITY” (YouthSight, 2013)

How do I know if I have a Mental Illness?

This is a difficult question as there are so many kinds of mental disorders, and each disorder has its own spectrum and scale of severity. The most common Mental Disorders for students to have are GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) and Depression. Click here to read more about Depression amongst International Students.

Anxiety tends to manifest as panic attacks, lack of concentration/focus, little sleep, and over/under eating. Depression tends to manifest as feeling lethargic, oversleeping, and little motivation. If you experience any of these for more than a few weeks, it might be worth visiting your University doctor, or local GP.

Everyone feels anxious or down from time to time, and these spells can even last a week or so. But, if you have been feeling ‘not yourself’ for an extended period of time and it is having a real impact on the quality of your life and wellbeing, then I implore you to go and seek help.

Woman in bedI think I have a disorder, how do I seek help?

Seeking help is the first step to getting your mental health back in shape. There are so many ways to get help, the best of which depends on your circumstances, and what help looks like to you.

Click here to read our top tips on coping with mental health disorders at University.

  1. Go to your University doctor/GP

    This depends on whether you are an international student or not, and if you have easy access to your at-home doctor. I know it can be scary, but going to your doctor and telling them your symptoms may result in them diagnosing you, and offering professional help (be it counselling, CBT, or even medication)

  2. Go to your University Support Centre

    Every University is will have some sort of place to go to if you are in need of help. Each University has a different name for it (e.g. at the University of Sussex, it’s the Student Support Unit). This should be easy to find on your University website.

  3. Talk to someone you trust 

    Again, I understand this can be frightening as some people struggle to open up to others. But, talking to a friend or family member may be the secret to starting your journey to better wellbeing. They may have noticed a change in you, and it might be comforting to have someone to keep an eye on you.

  4. Talk to someone online/over the phone 

    If you feel like you have no one in your life that you can talk to, or you feel too nervous/embarrassed to talk to someone that you know, then there are many services you can use to get you some help. Here are just a few places you can contact:

How can my University accommodate my Mental Health disorder?

Under the 2010 Equality Act, Every University is obliged to help you with your mental health disorder. However, every University’s approach to helping you will differ. They could offer counselling services, give extended deadlines for your assignments, give you extra time in exams, not penalise you for low attendance, etc. All Universities are obligated to help UK disabled students to apply for a Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) which is a grant given by the government to help cope with the growing costs of being a student.

Over the course of Mental Health Awareness month, we will be updating the site with various articles about mental health. Keep checking back here so you do not miss a post.