The transition from school to university, or from university to the world of work, can be difficult – the stresses of exams, study deadlines and the many social, practical and financial situations you have to deal with in between.
There are now more sources of support for students than ever before, and these are well worth being aware of, even if you feel on top of everything now. You never know when you, or someone you care about, might need them.
World Mental Health Day, an initiative of the World Federation of Mental Health, takes place on 10th October 2018. This year it takes the theme of Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World. The day aims to draw attention to the issues young people both during and prior to their student years.
In addition to services like Nightline, a student listening service which is open at night and run by students for students, 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.
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 Nightline service. Look out for the posters around your site to get the telephone number for the Nightline in your area, or search for it here. Nightline is staffed by trained student volunteers, and exists solely for students. You can contact Nightline via phone, email, text or instant message. The service is confidential – and, if you wish it to be, anonymous.
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