University MH Day blog header

University Student Mental Health Day

University MH Day blog header

University Student Mental Health Day 5th March 2020

Let’s be honest – Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Trauma is difficult enough – let alone when you are away from home and feeling isolated.   Student mental health is frequently in the news for all of the sad and wrong reasons.

Many young people go away to university and have an amazing 3 – 5 years, meeting solid friends and expanding skills, confidences and abilities.  University Life providing challenges and experiences that wouldn’t be encountered by staying home.

However not everyone has a fabulous time, all of the time.  Try these top tops if you or someone you know is having a difficult time with emotions and stress.

  1. Tell someone.  Don’t keep it bottled up.  Such obvious advice, but sometimes the hardest to follow.  Ring home, speak to a family member or a mate.  Speak to your house mates.  Call your GP.  Speak to a tutor.  Contact the university counselling service.  Text Shout (a free 24/7 text messaging service) on 85258.  Do something.  Don’t stay quiet.  It really does help to talk.  
  2. Check out what you are eating and drinking.  Alcohol, smoking, drugs and takeaways can change your emotional health.  Your brain functions on what you put into your body.  So put water, vitamins and proper meals and you WILL feel different.  Aim for balance.
  3. If you are stressed by exams, then go back to basics.  Write out a revision plan, set out some times and find yourself a good place to go through your notes.  Don’t hang out with other people who are stressed!  You don’t need their energy and problems.
  4. Exercise and fresh air – it helps.  Gets more oxygen into your body, changes the chemicals, burns off adrenaline.  
  5. Get some sleep.  When we are tired, we don’t function and can’t think straight.  Increases feelings of stress and anxiety.  
  6. Learn to meditate – download Insight Timer or Headspace.  

Could you be depressed?

Signs of depression include :-

  1. Persistent sadness lasting 2 weeks or more
  2. Can’t get interested in favourite things
  3. Loss of self confidence
  4. Feeling guilty, bad or not good enough
  5. Feeling increased anxiety
  6. Finding it hard to think of the future
  7. Feeling irritated, angry, frustrated or everything seems pointless
  8. Thoughts of suicide or wishing not to wake up in the morning
  9. Increased alcohol or drug use as a coping mechanism
  10. Finding it harder to concentrate
  11. Change to sleeping patterns
  12. Turning to alcohol or drugs to try to make yourself feel better.

And if this is you feeling like this?

Don’t suffer with it.  Speak to someone.  1 in 6 experience depression, so it isn’t just you.  Your GP or the university counsellors will have spoken to many people who feel like this and will be able to help.   Do something to make yourself feel different!  It is possible.

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