I hope you are well and have been enjoying these warm autumn days!
I am writing this post on a day that has become well-known and is spoken about a great deal more than ever before: World Mental Health Day. Before I get into it, I do just want to put out there that I am by no means an expert in this, I am simply sharing my thoughts and opinions.
Mental health problems affect approximately one in four people every year in the UK. These problems can range from common issues such as anxiety and depression to much rarer problems like bipolar disorder. Your mental health can be affected by numerous aspects of your life, meaning nobody’s mental health is exactly the same. We are all different and react to things differently. World Mental Health Day is a time where we can show support for those going through a tough time with their mental health and where we can look at our own mental health.
Mental health is just like physical health, everybody has it. Everybody goes through moments where they feel stressed, frightened or just a bit down. So I guess you could say in some ways we all experience poor mental health at some point in our lives. For a lot of people, these moments pass within a few minutes or after a day. But what about those who feel these bad moments last forever? Unfortunately, this can lead to more serious mental health problems which could happen to any one of us.
Just like you can get support to better your physical health, you can with your mental health. The first step is to talk about it. There are so many people out there who you can turn to – family, friends, teachers, your GP or even dedicated charities such as Mind who can offer you advice and support. It is better to talk about it than to keep it locked up whether you are feeling it on a minor or major scale. This isn’t always easy and for some it can add to their mental health issues. But even if you can’t speak about it face-to-face, I think you should look at getting help online or even through a phone call.
So many students suffer with mental health issues such as anxiety. The idea of deadlines, adulthood and living away from home can affect a student’s mental health along with other things they may have going on in their life. I too have suffered with anxiety and panic attacks around these things along with other events in my life. But I have found there are so many people at university to talk to about this no matter how small you believe your anxiety is.
Your tutors will always be there to help both on and offline. UCB also has a great free confidential health and wellbeing service where you can go and chat to them about any issues you may have during your time at university or about fears after university. They also provide some great resources and information online if you don’t feel comfortable speaking in person. I also want to add that family and friends from home are only a phone call away if you don’t feel you can chat to your uni friends.
The best thing to do is talk. Remember, it’s OK to not be OK all the time.
I also believe we should all be aware of other people’s emotions and mental health. You don’t know what is going on behind closed doors and although someone may look happy on the outside, it doesn’t mean they are on the inside. You shouldn’t be quick to judge. I have had people tell me I am attention seeking and I should stop being silly and forget about it. But this made things worse and I felt more alone than ever. So, I strongly believe we should treat others how you wish to be treated and if you do spot signs that someone’s mental health doesn’t appear good, ask if they are OK and need to talk. Having a friend at a time when things appear dark can help a lot!
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” – Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh.
Although the idea of mental health is raised through this day, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about it every other day of the year. Your mental health is important and should not be forgotten about. So, keep reminding yourself to stay strong and help is never too far away.