University Mental Health
University Mental Health Day
The pressures of university life can come in all shapes and sizes, whether it’s social situations, where you’re living, who you’re living with, finances, work, exams, being away from home… the list could go on and on BUT…
We want you to know that you’re not alone!
One in four university students suffer from mental health problems.
University Mental Health Day is the national campaign to raise awareness and promote the mental health of individuals within the higher education sector. It is run together by Student Minds and UMHAN (The University Mental Health Advisers Network).
The theme for this year’s University Mental Health Day is Community. The purpose of this is to develop a positive mental health attitude within universities, and create a sense of community supporting this cause.
In the recent years, the issue of mental health has grown in awareness, due to the rise in diagnoses, there is more help available than ever before to people who are struggling with mental health – students especially. In 2015-16 more than 15,000 UK -based first year students admitted to having mental health issues (according to the Institute of Public Policy) – this is almost five times as many students as 10 years ago.
Student mental health is something that universities have adapted to well, as more and more students admit to having their own difficulties. The most commonly experienced mental health issues among students are anxiety, stress and depression, which you can read about in our World Mental Health blog.
Whether you know someone who struggles with their mental health or you do personally, there is plenty of help available to you, it is just knowing where to find it and sometimes having the courage to speak out about it. We understand it can be hard to talk to people about your problems, but it is important to know you will not be judged by doing so. However if you or someone you know would find speaking directly to someone difficult, that’s okay too. There are other ways of getting help without having to speak face to face such as email services.
What help is available?
- Student Minds, a charity who partner with universities across the UK, to help students with mental health issues get any help and the advice they need to face, talk about and overcome their problems.
- CRM Students site teams and staff are always on hand to help with any problems you have, you can always speak to them and they can offer you advice and assist you with anything you need help with.
- Your university will have plenty of services to help you, such as counselling services, support groups and personal tutors.
- The Samaritans offer round the clock services to any individual struggling. They have various ways of contact, email, phone and branches you can visit.
- UMHAN (The University Mental Health Advisers Network) are a charity who is dedicated to providing support to students experiencing mental health difficulties.
- Support groups can be run by your university or other charities locally or nationwide. We know that it can feel daunting speaking in front of groups of people but sometimes it can be beneficial to push yourself out of your comfort zone* and can be great to meet new people with similar issues.
Tips on managing your mind-set
Here are some useful tips to keep you calm when you start to feel stress creeping up on you:
Keep being active
Do something that gets your heart pumping to take your mind off things that are bothering you. Go to the gym, go on a walk, go to a fitness class, or even do some dancing! Regular exercise is one of the best ways to relax your mind and body.
This is great if you are in a stressful environment you can’t necessarily get out of, such as an exam. Close your eyes and breathe slowly for a few minutes, until you feel more at ease. Meditation and mindfulness is also a great way to relieve your mind and body of stress.
Speaking to people about your problems can often help and take a lot of weight off your shoulders.
Take a break
Take some time to do what you want to do, take your mind of anything that is causing you to be stressed. Watch TV, message your friends, play a game, treat yourself!
Make something that you love, cooking is a great activity as it keeps you busy and you get to eat something delicious at the end!
Cliché, but picture a place that you love and feel relaxed by, think of why you love it and imagine yourself there.
Manage your workload
Make a timetable or plan of the work you need to do, so you know how much you have to do and how long you have to do it. Leaving work to the last minute is a mistake we are all guilty of, but try to avoid doing this and causing yourself extra stress the day before its due!
Doing some colouring when you’re feeling on edge or before you sleep can calm you down massively. Buy yourself an adult colouring book and some colouring pencils and get going!
*Comfort zone challenge
Do something you wouldn’t usually do!
• Sit in the canteen
• Go to the library
• Go for a walk around campus
• Go for a walk around your city – explore!
• Talk to someone new (maybe someone you always see on the bus or someone on your course)
• Post a picture on social media that makes you happy
• Message someone you’ve been wanting to message for a while
• Try a new food
• Join a club
Making small changes to your lifestyle can have a positive effect on your mind-set. It is almost guaranteed you will feel great after pushing yourself that little bit further!
The most important thing to remember when getting help is to do what is best for you, if going to speak to someone face to face is too much for you at the moment, then take small steps such as emailing or phoning a charity.