Starting uni can be a exciting but also a bit scary and it’s totally normal to feel nervous at the start. But for some people there more to how they are feeling than just freshers butterflies. Mental health is something which a lot of students have problems with, probably due to a combination of lots of things, including stress about uni work, moving away from your support network at home, irregular sleep cycles and the impact of social media.
Lot’s of things can help keep you healthy including being organised and planning your workload so you don’t get overly stressed about deadlines. You can also aim to leave on evening free a week (something I’m not very good at) just to catch up with yourself and just to relax. Try to get enough sleep, which I know is easier said than done and exercise regularly, doing these will help to keep you both physically and mentally healthy.
I know it’s not always easy but try not to take social media at face value! It may look like all your friends are having the best time at their new unis, but a lot of them will also be struggling with the change, you just don’t see that side of it!
In this post I just wanted to highlight the SU service called Leicester Talks.
This is a ‘directory of these services which includes the Students’ Union, University, student-led, community & online services’. You can access their website here.
They offer advice on where to seek advice for a range of issues:
- Academic support & learning differences
- Money & legal
- Emotional/mental health & wellbeing
- Physical health
- Sexual health & sexuality
- Bullying, harassment & abuse
- Social & general (signposting)
- 24/7 & urgent
There are a lot of mental health services on campus. Of course you can always go to your personal tutor if you have an issue but you may feel more comfortable accessing a service like Headspace Mental Health clinic, which is run by trained practitioners, who can provide a confidential advise on mental health issues (open Monday and Wednesday 11am to 3pm in the SU Hub).
There is also an on campus counselling and wellbeing service, which is free and offer booked sessions with trained practitioners Monday to Friday!
There are also lots of student run groups which can focus on mental health. Check out MHAS which is aiming to raise awareness of mental health conditions and reduce the stigma around them. There’s Matts Meet Up which is a ‘mental health awareness group for men that gives guys the chance to talk about what’s on their mind, in a non-judgemental environment.’ It runs ever other Tuesday at 7:30pm in the SU hub.
There is also Nightline, which you can ring between the hours of 8:00pm to 8:00am every night and is ‘a student-run, anonymous phone service for students, which provides listening, support and information services’.
The Leicester Talks website also has some self help guides to give you advise on a range of problems from anxiety, stress and PTSD, as well as lots more.
So if you are struggling at all please, please, please access the support available to you, don’t suffer in silence! My mum always says a problem shared is a problem halved and I think she’s right!
If you are struggling with anything right now and are considering taking your own life please ring Samaritans now on 116 123 or ring NHS 111 and they will help you to get support. In an emergency ring 999. And if you suspect a friend is struggling make an effort to ask them how they are and really listen to the answers, you don’t need to have any advice for them just listen to what they have to say.