So last week was the World Mental Health day, and fortunately, nowadays people are talking more and more about these serious issues, which is a great step to helping those who suffer from anxiety and depression.
My last blog post was all about what we can do to help our own mental health, but have you thought about ways to help others who are suffering as well?
- First, listen to them if they need to talk, do not assume is just “one more problem” and that time will solve it. Be supportive and be there. No feeling is invalid- even if it is not a big deal for you, it doesn’t mean the other person is not entitled to suffer- it does matter to them.
- Help them to practise breathing techniques: if taking one single deep breath helps you feel better, imagine a whole breathing technique.
- Shift their focus.
- Encourage them to keep a diary of their thoughts and feelings. Not everyone likes to say their problems out loud, so writing down is a great way to still express their feelings without telling them to someone.
- Suggest listening to some music. Music is a great way to relax, I do it myself as a way to calm down. I like to search for playlists with the name “Chill out”.
If you want to find more helpful information and tips, then it’s as easy as joining Quokka!
If you don’t know about it, Quokka is a free wellbeing messaging service available to all higher education first-year students at UCB (although to be honest, I still use it as well). The service is specially timed and tailored for UCB students so it will send you weekly messages accordingly to what you might be experiencing specifically as a UCB student.
The tips and pieces of advice cover aspects such as:
- Settling in
- Eating well
- Sleeping well
- Making friends
- Study tips
- Exam tips
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Staying on top of your money
- Coping with stress
- Essential UCB contact information
Everything you read is evidence-based and have been reviewed by a panel of health experts to make sure Quokka gives you information you can trust. And guess what, it’s all free and confidential!
Even if you do not have any mental health problem, Quokka is still a great tool as it will send you messages regarding study and exams tips, how to manage your money, settling in and much more.
To sign up to the programme you simply have to search for “QuokkaUCB” on Facebook, click to send a message and then click “Get Started”, that’s it!
You will also have two “buttons” available for you:
- Need help button: You may be affected by some issues that require urgent or immediate help and support. The need help button on the phone directs you to support pages on 6 key issues: Depression; Suicide; Self-harm; Sexual Assault; Alcohol and Drugs overdose and radicalisation.
- Essential contacts button: gives you instant access to key contact details for all the support services at UCB as well as local and national support groups at the touch of a button.
As I said before, although I’m in my second year now I did sign up for the programme again. Last year I did not feel I needed any help regarding my mental health but since I was not from the UK it was so helpful to have tips related to settling in, study tips and eating well on a budget!
This year I started working and have all these assignments to do, so at the beginning I always felt a bit stressed and anxious by the end of the week- and it was so good to start receiving messages from Quokka on Sundays. It’s almost like having an online “friend” there for you, who sends you precious bits of advice. What is great about it is that will give tips to help yourself, but also remembers you to check on your friends.
Whether you are feeling at your worst or living the best moments of your life, do give it a go- especially since the deadlines for the first assignments are close!
Remember to put yourself and your mental health first and enjoy uni!