This Thursday (March 1st) is University Mental Health Day and to celebrate we want to help raise student mental health awareness.
University is meant to be an empowering time for those that pursue further education. It is a time to meet new people, develop new skills, and prepare yourself for the future. Many students enter university with high hopes and dreams.
As you can imagine, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Coursework deadlines, approaching exams, rising university fees, social pressures… University is full of distressing situations and circumstances that can make it a challenging experience. We often forget the duress that university students face every day.
Some people just have a blip during their university career, but for others, it can be the start of something more problematic. Stress and loneliness are the most common conditions faced by university students, though other mental health concerns can take effect including anxiety, depression, sleep problems, eating disorders, and even suicidal feelings.
A lot of university students deal with their problems with drinking and even drugs, but the reality is that this exacerbates the problem and makes things worse in later years.
What is important is that, if you are a university student with mental health concerns, you make sure you speak to someone. Whether it is your tutor, a lecturer or a friend, it is important that people know that you’re struggling or not feeling okay.
Thankfully, most universities can offer a great amount of support to students with mental health worries. Speak to your university about any counselling services they offer or see if your student union has a student-led peer support group. The NUS has some great resources and you can always speak to your GP is things are becoming too much for you.
If you’re a parent, check up on your child regularly and make sure they are managing. Sometimes a call from mum or dad can be uplifting.
University Mental Health Day is all about empowering students with mental health difficulties and reminding them that it is okay to not be okay. With the right amount of support, every student has a chance to achieve.
We’d love to help universities promote their mental health services and support groups. If you’re a university or student union running regular services, support groups or events, get in touch so we can list you on our site!