World Mental Health Day, an initiative that began in 1992 promoting mental health advocacy and educating the public. Every year we celebrate on the 10th of October. The theme for 2023, set by the World Foundation of Mental Health, is ‘Mental health is a universal human right’.
In a world that can sometimes feel overwhelming, remember that you are not alone. Reach out, talk to someone you trust, and remember that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Mental health help
In addition to services like SHOUT, a free, confidential support text line, you will find a wealth of resources online. The Mind and Student Minds websites cover a wide variety of issues, from social anxiety to surviving Freshers’ Week, and will help to reassure you that you are not alone if you feel like you need extra support. There is also information on mental health services, and student mental health in particular, on the NHS website.
Your university will have a range of support services in place – from welfare officers to counselling services and support groups. Your Student Union will be a good place to start finding out how to access these.
Opening up about mental health
Sharing your concerns with others may feel difficult, but it’s a vital step – there is likely to be someone going through a similar experience, and they may be closer than you think. Simply being able to support each other will make a big difference to both of you. While it may not feel like it at the time, you can get through your issues with time and support – and many who have done so put their experiences to good use by becoming volunteers for, and supporting the work of, mental health charities and awareness groups.
If it’s a friend whose mental health you are concerned about, it can be a difficult subject to bring up. You may find this guide from Student Minds helpful.
If you would like to talk to someone yourself, all iQ residents have access to the 24/7 SHOUT text service. The service is confidential and can be accessed anywhere, at anytime. Simply text “SHOUT” to 85258 to have a conversation with one of their trained volunteers.
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