As with many other sensitive issues, we’ve still got a ways to go in talking more about poor mental health. Falling on March 1st in 2018, University Mental Health Day is a national campaign dedicated to doing just that.
Happily, mental health is now receiving more attention among medical professionals and society as a whole, with charities and celebrities lending their own influential and relatable voices to the cause.
We want to be part of the conversation. We want you to know that you are not alone.
In light of this mission, we’ve picked out some of the most significant insights from our recent research into student mental health and we’re here to share them with you.
Poor mental health can refer to a dizzying number of different issues – any of which might leave the sufferer feeling alienated, lonely and even ashamed. We’d love to say that this isn’t news to anyone, but until recent years, the subject has been considered something of a taboo.
The irony of course is that many people might take comfort in the fact that they are one of thousands who feel the same way! If you’re struggling to stay on top of your mood at the moment, rest assured that you aren’t the odd one out and you’re as normal as anyone else. What is normal anyway?
You might feel on the verge of sinking, but there are plenty of others in the same boat and if you avoid bottling your feelings, you might find it easier to stay afloat.
When we were conducting our mental health research, an important goal for us was finding out whether students know who they can look to for that all-important helping hand. We were shocked to find out that 48% were unaware if they could approach somebody at their halls.
28% also professed to lack the same information about their university. We plan to spread the word in this sector and to increase our own efforts to make your routes to better health clear.
At Campus Living Villages, we know that university can be a freeing, terrifying, elating and transformative experience – simply moving house is famously one of the most stressful things a human is likely to go through in their lifetime.
Add in figuring out how to cook, how to live without your parents, striking that work/partying balance and pressurising yourself to get great grades – it’s no surprise that you might relish huge parts of your new life, but also that you could become overwhelmed.
Distressingly, we found out that 39% of students have also felt suicidal. This tells us that awareness of the support available during these times needs to be amplified, and fast.
If you are having suicidal thoughts we implore you to visit your GP, or even a walk-in centre if you need urgent help. Doctors are trained to give you life-saving assistance in these situations, and you might find that simply talking about how you feel unburdens you massively.
It has long been known that exercise can improve mental health, but if you’re feeling so low you don’t want to get out of bed, it can be impossible to believe.
Here’s some inspirational nuggets to encourage you to join that class you’ve had your eye on for weeks:
We found that those students who spend longer on social media are more likely to feel low:
Though we can’t prove that a troubled mental state is caused by social media, our findings suggest that pressure to conform to unattainable lifestyles could be having an impact.
Consider reducing the time you spend on networking sites and see if your mood improves.
Despite the combined efforts of universities, accommodation providers and lots of other concerned parties, it’s clear that far too many of you are still struggling!
As we said previously, we’re working to spread the word about poor student mental health, but in the short-term there are plenty of people who are ready and waiting eagerly to help you to feel more like YOU:
Find additional information about our research here.