10 October was World Mental Health Day, and this year, the University focused on Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World. With the pressures of university, social media, and life in general, it can be difficult to keep up.
The great thing is that there’s loads of support available for students who are experiencing mental health difficulties at the University of Suffolk. This was shown at the event that Student Services ran on Wednesday in the Waterfront Building. I went and had a look, and it was great to see all the support that students can get while at studying. Here are some of the key things I took away from the event.
Things are not always as they seem
One of the stands at the Mental Health Day event focused on the pressures of being online. On social media, we see so many aspirational and unattainable images. The stand showed before and after photos; models before and after they had makeup applied, images were Photoshopped and filters were added. It reinforced the message that these photos that we see aren’t real, so we shouldn't feel the pressure to be like them.
Self-care is important
One of my favourite stands at the event was the one where you could make a stress ball (super messy though!). It reminded me of the importance of sometimes taking some time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be something huge; just reading a chapter, listening to music or getting a coffee can all make the difference to your day. Think about some of the things that you can do to relax and take some time for yourself.
There is always someone you can talk to
The University has so many places that you can go and people you can talk to if things are getting a bit much. Student Services offer drop in’s and appointments here, you can talk to your personal tutor, or have a chat with Student’s Union Advice.You can even self-refer for the University’s counselling service. If you’re feeling a bit nervous, have a chat with a friend beforehand and take them along with you. Sometimes it can help to have someone familiar with you.
It can be difficult opening up about mental health, but the more we talk about it, the easier it becomes. It’s being understood so much more now, and that’s why there’s more support now than there’s ever been before.