Looking after your mental health at University
Whether you’re starting university for the very first time or returning to continue your studies, there is always a delicate transition period to take into account. Between leaving your permanent home, returning to campus, adapting to the pandemic, and settling into a new place, there are so many things on a students’ minds.
Sometimes it can all become a little too much, and in those instances it is important to know which resources are available, and who you can turn to when you need some help. You might not always feel like there’s a big issue hanging over you, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the way you feel. No matter what it is, there are professional, friendly, and understanding individuals ready to help you, and they can be found at Student Minds.
Student Minds is a UK student mental health charity whose goal is to make sure every higher educated student can thrive and maintain their mental health. They encourage students to recognise their own mental health status, and provide a range of resources and services to support students in every aspect of their university experience.
Last year, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Student Minds set up Student Space, a platform where students can find essential resources, information, and a support directory. This year, they have created a new Hub on the platform - Preparing for University . This came after Student Minds identified many fears among students, mainly regarding the return to university life after a year of online teaching, a lack of access to academic support, and social anxieties concerning in-person socialising.
Supporting students with eating disorders
If any of these or other issues are worrying you, make sure to check out Student Space, where you will find articles, student stories, and expert information which could help you navigate your stress.
In addition to launching ‘Preparing for University’, Student Minds have recently shared a new informative report: ‘Supporting Students with Eating Disorders’. Their report explores the experiences of students with eating disorders at university and recommends what we can do together to improve their wellbeing.
This audit is really important as it helps students become aware of the different eating disorders that exist, how they can affect your mental and physical well being, and how to seek help or help someone in need.
Some interesting topics raised by the audit are the health inequalities related to mental health and eating disorders. For instance, the study highlights how stereotypical views of eating disorders can prevent students from identifying their own status, which makes it crucial for universities and individuals to combat these stereotypes. Furthermore, there are inequalities related to gender, sexual orientation and identification, race, nationality, and general health status.
The coronavirus pandemic has also complicated students’ eating disorders due to the interruption of many medical procedures and the pressure and stress of isolation. In response to these issues, the study recommends addressing health inequalities, and creating more straightforward referral processes.
So how can you access Student Minds’ support?
Student Space, run by Student Minds, is here to help you as you prepare for university with expert support and wellbeing advice. They provide dedicated support services, as well as tips, tools and student stories on a range of topics, including:
- Preparing for university
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Studying during coronavirus
- Friendships and social life
- Support with money and finances
- Life as a disabled student
- Finding support at your university
Sometimes speaking to someone you don’t know personally is easier than talking to someone you know. If you are in need of support please do reach out by texting ‘STUDENT’ to 85258 to start a conversation today. You can also contact them via Webchat, phone, or email - all contacts can be found on the Student Space page.
You can also follow them on their social media platforms so that you keep up to date with new projects and services:
Facebook: Student Minds
LinkedIn: Student MInds
You might feel scared to take the first step, and that’s normal, but don’t forget to also confide in your friends, peers, or family. It’s important to keep those around you updated about how you feel.
If you have additional worries about mental health, finances, accomodation or anything else, you can also contact your university, or consult our blog at Accomodation for Students.