As a university student myself, I know how stressful it can be in higher education. When deadlines are looming, money running out, being away from home and your peers are pressurising you to be social it can all become too much to handle. The Guardian have published an article with six useful tips for students in order to help boost their mental health.
A survey was carried out by the National Union of Students (NUS) last year and the results were astonishing. 78% of students had experienced mental health issues in the last year with a third of those students experiencing suicidal thoughts. An important statistic shows 54% of those students did not seek any support during this time.
University is a big step from school, however the support systems they have in place are substantially better. The university environment is designed to provide lots of support and social events in order to make students feel more comfortable at a very daunting time.
Tip 1: Talk to your tutors
I personally know how scary it can be to approach your tutors but it is very beneficial. Prior to speaking to the student services team at my university, I didn’t even know I could apply for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). When I was assessed I was extremely shocked to find out so much support was available. This ranged from regular meetings and academic mentors to counselling and breaks from lectures. If you have a mental health advisor at your university it is definitely worth speaking to them.
Tip 2: Talk to your peers
Talking to someone about your problems is so important to prevent your feelings and emotions from building up. This could be a friend, family member or even a spokesperson from a local mental health charity. The mental health and wellbeing charity has just launched a campaign against university stress and a zine, Coping on Campus, which was created by students and contains tips and real-life stories about looking after your mental health at university.
Tip 3: Seek solace online
Online support groups can be perfect for students who are not quite ready to speak out and tell loved ones. You have the option to remain anonymous and all online support groups have moderation and confidentiality on all comments made for a safe and trustworthy environment. Visit my resources page for more information on some of the apps and website you can use.
Tip 4: Small things can make a big difference
Think about the little things in your life that can help towards boosting your mood. This can be a cup of tea, plenty of sleep, a hot bubble bath or a long walk with your headphones in. After all, the most important thing is taking time out to look after yourself. The Student Minds ripple campaign, for students experiencing low mood and depression, has ideas that you could try out. Check it out for inspiration and share your own on social media with the hashtag #RippleTips.
Tip 5: Use apps
As previously mentioned, visit my resources page to find useful apps to boost your mood and help you discuss how you are feeling with others who may feel the same way. You must remember you are far from alone. There are a range of apps from documenting your mood, to online counselling to meditation so have a browse and find one that is right for you!
Tip 6: Support others
Even if you do not have a mental health condition yourself, remember that this information may be really useful for someone you know. A friendly chat or piece of advice will go a long way and perhaps longer than you think. There are so many events and initiatives that you can get involved in whilst at university; not only will it make others feel better but also yourself.