Uni life can be great. You get to meet lots of new people, have your own independence and be who you want to be.
On the other hand, as well as all the good things, it can be super stressful. There are deadlines and money worries. You might feel homesick, or that you can’t cope with your exams or assignments. These things can all add up, and it can make you feel depressed, hopeless, stressed and anxious.
If you feel this way at any point, please don’t suffer in silence.
I’ve had problems with my own mental health, and the support I’ve gotten from the people around me and student services has been incredible. I know from experience that it can feel really scary to reach out, but it’s so important; the moment you reach out you’re on your way to getting rid of those feelings and getting back to being yourself.
You’ll have a personal tutor – make use of them! I’m really lucky in that I can talk openly with mine, but if you don’t feel you can then maybe speak to a lecturer you’re more comfortable chatting to, or even just go straight to student services. If you feel you may need an extension on a deadline because of your health, then the process is really simple, and if you need mitigating circumstances having someone from the university that can vouch for you is really beneficial.
And if you feel like a friend is feeling stressed, low or anxious, or they’re just a little out of sorts, then reach out to them and let them know you’re there for them if they want to talk. This can really go a long way!
Suicide rates are on the rise (especially in men) and it is such a preventable cause of death, but only if we reach out and talk to the people around us.
#TimeToTalk day is on the 2nd of February. It’s an awareness day run by the Welsh campaign to end mental health stigma Time to Change Wales (that’s me in the picture, volunteering for them). It aims to encourage people to speak up about mental health and get the help they need. It’s a day for being more open and telling someone how you feel.
So please – on the 2nd, or any other day for that matter, if you feel you need to talk, or you think your friend might need a shoulder to cry on, lend them that – you could make a world of difference.
If you’re in uni at the moment, or you’ve just gotten your offers through, remember that the negative thoughts, if you’re feeling them, will pass, and you can do this uni thing, and you can do it well!
Looking for more information on dealing with mental health problems at Uni? Here are some useful links:
Time to Change Wales Pledge
— Cardiff Met Uni (@cardiffmet) January 25, 2017