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UK University Life and Mental Health: Getting Help

Student mental health

University life can be a rollercoaster ride. Alongside the joys of coursework and exams, you also have to deal with financial woes, relationship troubles, family pressure, homesickness, and a bunch of other demands. It’s like a juggling act gone wrong! Feeling down, stressed, and anxious every now and then is totally normal. In fact, you’re not alone because a whopping 78% of students have reported mental health issues in the past year. But hey, if these symptoms persist or start interfering with your daily activities, it’s time to seek help.

Now, let’s talk about the signs that something might be amiss:

  • Feeling blue and down in the dumps.
  • Being more anxious and restless than usual.
  • Struggling to see any light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Losing interest in life altogether.
  • Saying goodbye to motivation like it’s an outdated fashion trend.

And if you notice any of the following outward signs in your friend or classmate, they might be going through mental health problems:

  • Suddenly shedding pounds or gaining them like a sumo wrestler in training.
  • Becoming the unofficial workaholic of the year.
  • Skipping lectures and deadlines as if they’re optional (spoiler alert: they’re not).
  • Transforming into a hermit, avoiding social interactions like a pro.
  • Embarking on a not-so-magical journey of substance abuse.
  • Battling with sleep like it’s a WWE match.

Now, let’s move on to where you can get the support you need:

  • Friends and family – Sometimes, just sharing your feelings with a trusted soul can bring an immediate sense of relief. It’s like releasing a burden and realizing you’re not alone. Plus, they might have some wise words or funny anecdotes to lighten the mood. Friends with benefits, indeed!
  • Student-run groups – Some universities have these amazing student-led groups or services where fellow students provide support to those dealing with stress or depression. Sure, they might not have fancy degrees, but hey, sometimes a listening ear from someone who gets it can work wonders.
  • University Counsellor – Most universities have qualified professionals who offer free and confidential in-house treatment or counseling services. Check out your university’s website for more info. They might even have a Mental Health Advisor who can hook you up with support like time off or extensions. It’s like having a personal cheerleader in your corner.
  • Online – The internet isn’t just for memes and cat videos (although those are important too). There are online self-help services like NHS Choices’ Moodzone and the Students Against Depression. Who knew you could find solace in cyberspace?
  • Psychologist or Psychotherapist – These fancy titles might sound intimidating, but they’re just professionals who can help you dig into the roots of your unhappiness and worries in a safe environment. They’ll also equip you with nifty coping techniques and skills. It’s like therapy, but with a dose of humor thrown in.
  • NHS Counselling or Therapy – If you’re in the mood for some good ol’ NHS counseling or therapy, you can refer yourself. Look up psychological therapy services in your area to see what’s available. And if you’re not sure where to start, have a chat with your GP. They’re the experts in “doctor stuff” and can point you in the right direction.
  • Voluntary Organisations – There are plenty of voluntary organizations out there that specialize in helping people. Whether it’s MIND or CRUSE for bereavement or the Samaritans for when you’re feeling down and desperate, they’re there to lend a helping hand. Think of them as the superheroes of the mental health world.
  • A&E – If you or someone you know is facing a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency, head straight to A&E or call 999. The staff there will take care of your immediate needs, both physically and mentally. They might even have a team specifically dedicated to bridging the gap between mental and physical healthcare. Talk about multitasking!

No matter who you reach out to, remember to be honest and open about your feelings. Describe them in your own words, no thesaurus required. Don’t worry if you don’t know what’s causing these emotions or if you think your problem is too big or too small. Every concern is valid, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you need a little extra support, bring a trusty sidekick with you—a close friend or family member. Together, you can face anything that comes your way.