If you need immediate help, please call the Samaritans on 116 123. If you are at risk to yourself or others, please call 999 or get someone to take you to your nearest A&E department.
What is mental health?
The World Health Organisation: ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. Mental health is ‘... the emotional and spiritual resilience which allows us to enjoy life and survive pain, disappointment and sadness. It is a positive sense of well-being and an underlying belief in our own, and others’ dignity and worth’. (Health education Authority. Mental health promotion: a quality framework. London: Health Education Authority;1997).
What influences mental health?
Several additional factors are likely to contribute to someone’s mental health and their experience of recovery. These factors include age, gender and disability.
Common mental health illnesses:
Depression: Clinical depression is an episode that lasts for at least 2 weeks and that affects a person’s behaviour while also having emotional effects. It could also interfere with the ability to work and to have successful personal relationships.
Symptoms include: a usually sad mood that does not go away, loss of enjoyment or interest in activities, lack of energy, loss of confidence/self-esteem, feeling guilty, difficulty in making decisions and sometimes suicidal thoughts.
Warning signs: lack of attention to appearance and hygiene, they might become anxious and irritable, might be slower in moving and thinking. Have a different attitude to normal, they might be more negative and have a negative view about themselves and say things like ‘I’m a failure’ or ‘it is all my fault’.
Anxiety: Everyone experiences some anxiety at some point in their life however when it is long-lasting and interfering with day-to-day life as well as work and life relationships, you may benefit from some additional support.
General symptoms of anxiety include heart palpitations, chest pain, hyperventilation, dizziness, headache, sweating, nausea and restlessness. Some behavioural effects include avoiding social situations, compulsive behaviour and showing signs of phobic behaviour.
Some people suffering from anxiety can also have panic attacks, this is where there is a sudden onset of intense fear.
Whether you have a history of struggling with your mental health or you are experiencing symptoms for the first time, your feelings are valid and you deserve support.
As part of her role, Katy Baker, VP-Welfare, is carrying out drop-in sessions to signpost students to services within the University or external services if necessary. Please see the times below:
Monday 12-2pm at the drop-in stand, LH
Wednesdays 2-4pm at the drop-in stand, LH
Friday, 10am-12pm at the drop-in stand, LH
Katy also works closely with Hollie, our Academic Advisor supporting students with their welfare where necessary.
Registering with a doctor's surgery
It is important to register with a doctor's surgery while you are at University and you can still be a temporary at your original surgery if you are moving away from home. Here on Waterside Campus, there is a doctor's surgery on campus with 6 doctors working on a rota basis and nurses who can also prescribe if necessary. Waterside Health Centre welcomes both international and home students and offers the following additional services: sexual health support, contraception, smoking help, pregnancy support, asthma reviews and travel advice.
When you register with the doctor's surgery, you NEED to have a proof of address.
MHFA and how we can help
Katy (VP Welfare), Ryan (VP Union Development), Gemma (President) and Tre Ventour (VP BME) are Mental Health First Aiders. We have all done our 2 day training and have gained valuable knowledge, techniques and ways of guiding someone so they feel safe. We are also aware of key numbers and organisations who can support you if you are feeling vulnerable or if it’s out of hours.
The Students’ Union is open to students all week and we are happy for students to come and see us.