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Head Health at Uni: Advice From Experts

22 Nov 2018
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Moving to a new city, making new friends, and starting a new journey of education can all be daunting experiences, which is why there’s nothing wrong with feeling anxious or stressed at university.

63% of students say the feeling of stress can interfere with their day-to-day lives and 77% of them report that they have a fear of failure. There’s so much pressure to have the “best time of your life” at university; it’s supposed to be the place where you “meet your friends for life”. But with that pressure can come stress and anxiety and your experience isn’t exactly what it’s meant to be. We’re here to help you keep a positive head at university, so that the next few years actually can be the best years of your life! And if there are days when it’s not? That’s okay.

 

Stay In the Know

Sometimes it takes more than just a hug or pat on the back to help you keep your mental health in check, which is why we thought we’d let the student mental health and wellbeing experts do the talking.

Dr Dominique Thompson, National Student Mental Health Expert, told Health Watch Bristol:

“There has never been a more crucial time for students to have access to reliable, safe, relevant health information.”

Dr Thompson says this as the Student Health App is re-released in an effort to support students and universities with student wellbeing.

Dr Thompson also said that students need access to information provided on the app to keep them in a positive state of mind. The app has information on mental health, healthy living, and relationships. Staying informed on wellbeing topics such as these are important to keep a balanced lifestyle and a healthy mind.

The student health app has launched to be easily accessible to all students and helpful for international students.

 

 

Shake the Stigma

Dr Knut Schroeder, the Founder of Expert Self-Care, wants students to know that it’s okay to seek help early. To help keep your head healthy, it’s really important to shake off the mental health stigma and seek the help you need as soon as you need it.

 

Speak Up

Dr Rachel Andrew, a clinical psychologist, said

“We know that stigma can prevent people from seeking help but early intervention is vital.”

This is why the Student Health App is so useful, as it gives students unlimited answers to important health questions. This gives those who are worried about opening up the chance to find help without having to leave their comfort zone.

 

 

A Few Tips to Keep Your Head and Heart Healthy

We spoke to Mike, the creator of Mike’s Open Journal and the founder of Mental Health Blog Awards. Mike has given us his top tips on keeping your head health on top form during stressful times at university. Here’s what he had to say…

• Walk outside! It can provide you with time to process some of the things in your head. Fresh air is great for helping me with mindfulness, making me take deep, slow breaths and making me notice my body to feel grounded.

• Finding a hobby can be a great way to stay active, to meet people, and to motivate you to get up and do something. For me, photography, geocaching, and Pokemon Go have all had their moments in keeping me well and keeping my mind healthy. Writing has helped me hugely too! It’s allowed me to start to process some of the more depressing and anxious thoughts I have experienced in a safe way. For some people music, art, and sports help them to stay mentally active. Plus, it also balances your wellbeing.

• It’s important that if you notice someone withdrawing from your group, activity, or social circle that you try to check in on them and see how they’re doing. Look out for them cancelling plans last minute. If this is the case then ask if there’s anything you can do to make the meet up more accessible to them.

• There can be lots of signs that someone is struggling (such as weight change, hygiene, lack of care, non-attendance, isolating behaviour), but more importantly there might be no signs. It’s about starting conversations and helping everyone to feel comfortable to be able to talk about mental health.

 

 

Keep Your Head Up

We all have bad days sometimes, which is why it’s important to be there for one another. If you think someone might be struggling, make sure you #KnowTheSigns so you can help them feel better or seek help. If you need more top tips or advice, follow us on Facebook or Instagram where we’re sharing regular tips for taking care of yourself and others. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with needing a little help.