I attended the “All About You” mental wellbeing conference in which speakers discussed many topics regarding how students especially in university, can struggle with their mental health, as well as the way it can affect their journey into employment. Many points made by the speakers such as the Mental Health Campaigner, mentioned how a large proportion of students having mental health issues is arising which, may be due to increased awareness of certain topics e.g., Depression/Anxiety etc or social acceptance/current day life pressures. This essentially results in a higher percentage of students in university who have said their mental health has deteriorated since starting. “1 in 3 students were diagnosed with anxiety or depression at University” – This statistic clearly represents the growing number of students that have or are experiencing MH conditions whilst studying, leading to impacts on their mental wellbeing with 74% worrying about not being good enough, 72% trouble concentrating and 70% trouble sleeping. From this, it is important to place yourself in a supportive environment as, being around people who want to help and care and going to workshops etc are likely to have an affect on improving mental health.
I also learnt how nearly half of students prefer in-person support rather than online or telephone support as, they appreciate the physical aspect of someone being able to give clear, verbal feedback and counselling. Statistically speaking, 52% of people preferred in person support and 17% preferred online whilst the remaining 31% had no preference – but as the values show a greater number of students generally would rather have the option and guidance to speak to someone in person.
As some of you may have seen on campus, there are many flyers circulated all around the area in buildings and near classrooms for those who prefer the anonymous aspect if they don’t want to be publicly seen asking for help or guidance. Not knowing how to talk about mental health, stigma and lack of trust, stops students from accessing help e.g., they may have difficulties in securing appointments with the counselling services or worry about being known for having mental health condition/seeking support. However, providing them with these services can reduce the number of students who may be unsure or worried in speaking to someone, which is why on campus these services are available to you at any time in person and online.
The student journey impacts mental health outcomes as final years can be the most impacted by mental health difficulties due to exam and employment stress. Final year students can experience stress in terms of having to adjust to new environments during employment as they are exposed to not having a form of protection as a student – since they are now responsible for themselves and must deal with more consequences, this can create anxiety.
Anxiety causes students with MH conditions to drop out of assessment processes and disengage with their careers (Particularly for virtual workshops). If you are someone going through this anxiety of entering employment – do not be hesitant in speaking to someone. They may be able to understand the feelings or thoughts you may be experiencing, yet if they cannot, it’s still worthwhile to get these feelings out since the percentage of students who have less support is higher in terms of dealing/managing their mental health. Things like attending conferences on mental health and workshops can encourage early intervention to aid recovery and boost your confidence in dealing with your mental wellbeing. Although, students feel like their university could be doing more to support them as stigma is still a main barrier for students accessing help – But going to these sorts of events and representing people can be a huge step in reducing the stigma on mental health issues. For example, on campus there are Drop-In sessions and campaigns, where people can come in and engage in support, creating a kinder, encouraging environment for students. It is important we let students know there are lots of places they can get help if they are struggling with their mental health.
If you need support with your mental health and wellbeing support is available. Contact the University Counselling and Wellbeing service email@example.com Tel: +44 (0)1274 235750.
The Counselling and Mental Health Service are located in Student Central, level 01.
Free and confidential service for students operated by Health Assured.24 hour helpline: 0800 028 3766
Students at the University of Bradford can now access a range of mental health and other support online. The uobwell app is free to students and hosts an array of support and is aimed at increasing mental health support amongst students. You can access the wellbeing web app on any device @ www.uobwell.co.uk The app is a great resource for students to help you maintain good mental health and wellbeing throughout your studies via useful tools and tips.
More information about the app and wellbeing events taking place at University can be found at @UoBWell and uobwell.info.
To find out how you can get involved get in touch by email- firstname.lastname@example.org.
MyWellbeing College is a free NHS service to help people manage everyday problems such as feeling low, having problems sleeping, feeling anxious and experiencing stress. You can register for MyWellbeing College online or over the phone and don’t have to go through your GP. MyWellbeing IAPT service Registration – Get started today | Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven (bmywellbeingiapt.nhs.uk)