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1st March - Uni Mental Health Day - Q&A watch

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    Hi everyone,

    As part of Uni Mental Health Day on 1st March, we’d like to start a conversation and Q&A on mental health and wellbeing at Uni. Student life can be exciting – moving to a new place, meeting new people and having lots of new experiences, but it can also be a stressful time and can sometimes be particularly difficult for students with a mental health condition. A lot of students experience anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions while at university which can be a challenge, but this does not stop them from achieving great results and having a positive university experience.

    We’d like invite you to share your own experiences, thoughts, questions or concerns. So please feel free to use this thread to get chatting! Our Student Wellbeing team will be on-hand throughout the day on 1st March to answer all your questions about mental health and wellbeing whilst at uni (any uni – not just Herts!) and the support that is available.

    Thanks,
    Heather


    Mental health is an important topic, one which affects everyone – either through personal experience, or that of friends or family. We know that being a student can be very stressful, particularly around exam times and deadlines, which is why we offer a range of services to support students. At the University of Hertfordshire, we recognise that students face many obstacles – from academic challenges, to living away from home for the first time in many cases, to managing their mental health or medical conditions, so we aim to support students through that journey and make their student experience a positive one! Our Student Wellbeing service provides support to students through our counselling, mental health and disability teams using workshops, self-help and one-to-one support.

    It’s really important to reach out if you are struggling - whether to a friend, your GP or the Student Wellbeing team. With over a quarter of students experiencing a mental health condition, you are not alone if you are struggling. We think it’s really important to raise awareness so that people know that it’s ok to talk about mental health, and it’s ok to ask for help.

    1st March is University Mental Health Day, so we will be answering your questions about mental health! Please feel free to start asking questions now, and our mental wellbeing team will be answering them on the day.

    Katherine Smith
    Student Wellbeing Adviser
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    (Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
    Hi everyone,

    As part of Uni Mental Health Day on 1st March, we’d like to start a conversation and Q&A on mental health and wellbeing at Uni. Student life can be exciting – moving to a new place, meeting new people and having lots of new experiences, but it can also be a stressful time and can sometimes be particularly difficult for students with a mental health condition. A lot of students experience anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions while at university which can be a challenge, but this does not stop them from achieving great results and having a positive university experience.

    We’d like invite you to share your own experiences, thoughts, questions or concerns. So please feel free to use this thread to get chatting! Our Student Wellbeing team will be on-hand throughout the day on 1st March to answer all your questions about mental health and wellbeing whilst at uni (any uni – not just Herts!) and the support that is available.

    Thanks,
    Heather
    Hi heather!
    As u may know I have applied to study Midwifery bsc at the uni of herts. I currently suffer from social anxiety and am afraid of how that will work out for me when I start my degree
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    (Original post by aspire.1a)
    Hi heather!
    As u may know I have applied to study Midwifery bsc at the uni of herts. I currently suffer from social anxiety and am afraid of how that will work out for me when I start my degree
    Hi @aspire.1a

    Yes I remember, that's great you'll be joining us Thanks for your question. I'll let the team know and they'll get back to you.

    Thanks,
    Heather
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    Really glad this thread has popped up!

    I think it's so important to know that despite anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issues, you can still succeed--I think at the end of the day it's all about communication!

    This past late fall and early start of the second semester I was completely overwhelmed by work and the emotions behind a final year of study, and my work was really starting to suffer. I would feel trapped in my room or in my bed, convinced that nothing was going to end up going well and that I couldn't finish my work--which of course, only leads to feeling even worse in a horrible cycle. The best day this semester so far has been when I told the academic staff and got nothing but wholehearted support. A weight was lifted off my shoulders that day, and I was able to start moving forward again--even if only in incremental steps. So please--tell someone! A trusted member of staff, a best friend, the wellness team at your Uni. Far too often posts are made in Uni Life where all someone needs to do is take that first step in telling someone after suffering far too long already.
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    (Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
    Hi everyone,

    As part of Uni Mental Health Day on 1st March, we’d like to start a conversation and Q&A on mental health and wellbeing at Uni. Student life can be exciting – moving to a new place, meeting new people and having lots of new experiences, but it can also be a stressful time and can sometimes be particularly difficult for students with a mental health condition. A lot of students experience anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions while at university which can be a challenge, but this does not stop them from achieving great results and having a positive university experience.

    We’d like invite you to share your own experiences, thoughts, questions or concerns. So please feel free to use this thread to get chatting! Our Student Wellbeing team will be on-hand throughout the day on 1st March to answer all your questions about mental health and wellbeing whilst at uni (any uni – not just Herts!) and the support that is available.

    Thanks,
    Heather


    Mental health is an important topic, one which affects everyone – either through personal experience, or that of friends or family. We know that being a student can be very stressful, particularly around exam times and deadlines, which is why we offer a range of services to support students. At the University of Hertfordshire, we recognise that students face many obstacles – from academic challenges, to living away from home for the first time in many cases, to managing their mental health or medical conditions, so we aim to support students through that journey and make their student experience a positive one! Our Student Wellbeing service provides support to students through our counselling, mental health and disability teams using workshops, self-help and one-to-one support.

    It’s really important to reach out if you are struggling - whether to a friend, your GP or the Student Wellbeing team. With over a quarter of students experiencing a mental health condition, you are not alone if you are struggling. We think it’s really important to raise awareness so that people know that it’s ok to talk about mental health, and it’s ok to ask for help.

    1st March is University Mental Health Day, so we will be answering your questions about mental health! Please feel free to start asking questions now, and our mental wellbeing team will be answering them on the day.

    Katherine Smith
    Student Wellbeing Adviser

    final year is so overwhelming and i've had a year away so it was just that much harder. I've had a similar experience to @Michelle, but i realsied something troubling after reading your reply, the level of anxiety depression is common place and many of my friends and peers think its common place and we regularly talk about ( not always in the the most helpful way either) .

    The phrase "if you havent had a mental breakdown you're not working hard enough" or "its not final year if youre not havent had a breakdown" have been thrown around too often. the toxic culture about exam and bad mental health go hand in hand and this complaincy on addressing has/ will affect people long term

    @Heather How can we inform students that its not the case, that expressing that they feel this way isnt a weakness. StressLess is a great initiative but as wonderful as puppy dates are, they are not helpful whn you think you are alone in this
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    (Original post by notrumzah)
    final year is so overwhelming and i've had a year away so it was just that much harder. I've had a similar experience to @Michelle, but i realsied something troubling after reading your reply, the level of anxiety depression is common place and many of my friends and peers think its common place and we regularly talk about ( not always in the the most helpful way either) .

    The phrase "if you havent had a mental breakdown you're not working hard enough" or "its not final year if youre not havent had a breakdown" have been thrown around too often. the toxic culture about exam and bad mental health go hand in hand and this complaincy on addressing has/ will affect people long term

    @Heather How can we inform students that its not the case, that expressing that they feel this way isnt a weakness. StressLess is a great initiative but as wonderful as puppy dates are, they are not helpful whn you think you are alone in this
    Hi @notrumzah

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree it is important to let students know that it certainly isn't a weakness. I'll put your question to our wellbeing team and they will get back to you.

    Thanks,
    Heather
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    University of Hertfordshire I think you are more likely to get questions in the Mental Heath forum, so I've moved the thread there for you.
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    HI there aspire.1a . Many thanks for your question - I'm so pleased you have asked. There are different ways that we can support students with social anxiety. Some of this would be around helping students to develop strategies to manage their anxiety - especially on a Midwifery course where social interaction and helping to put others at ease in sometimes stressful situations is a key skill. Other types of support would be around adjustments to study - for example being in a smaller room with fewer people for exams if being in a large room with lots of people would raise anxiety and then potentially hinder performance.These are just two examples. We hope that you come to study with us and we would then chat with you directly in Student Wellbeing to identify the best support for you.Lena KloosHead of Student Wellbeing
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    (Original post by Michelle Bieger)
    Really glad this thread has popped up!

    I think it's so important to know that despite anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issues, you can still succeed--I think at the end of the day it's all about communication!

    This past late fall and early start of the second semester I was completely overwhelmed by work and the emotions behind a final year of study, and my work was really starting to suffer. I would feel trapped in my room or in my bed, convinced that nothing was going to end up going well and that I couldn't finish my work--which of course, only leads to feeling even worse in a horrible cycle. The best day this semester so far has been when I told the academic staff and got nothing but wholehearted support. A weight was lifted off my shoulders that day, and I was able to start moving forward again--even if only in incremental steps. So please--tell someone! A trusted member of staff, a best friend, the wellness team at your Uni. Far too often posts are made in Uni Life where all someone needs to do is take that first step in telling someone after suffering far too long already.
    This is such brilliant advice. At the University of Hertfordshire we recognise that speaking out about your mental health isn't always an easy thing to do but here is an example of why it can be so important. Talking can literally save lives (and university degrees!) and our Student Wellbeing team welcome any of our students who need to talk.
    Lena
    Student Wellbeing
    Univeristy of Hertfordshire
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    (Original post by notrumzah)
    final year is so overwhelming and i've had a year away so it was just that much harder. I've had a similar experience to @Michelle, but i realsied something troubling after reading your reply, the level of anxiety depression is common place and many of my friends and peers think its common place and we regularly talk about ( not always in the the most helpful way either) .

    The phrase "if you havent had a mental breakdown you're not working hard enough" or "its not final year if youre not havent had a breakdown" have been thrown around too often. the toxic culture about exam and bad mental health go hand in hand and this complaincy on addressing has/ will affect people long term

    @Heather How can we inform students that its not the case, that expressing that they feel this way isnt a weakness. StressLess is a great initiative but as wonderful as puppy dates are, they are not helpful whn you think you are alone in this
    Hi notrumzah. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm sorry to hear of some of the comments around mental health. We hope that no-one has a breakdown in any year of study but we are here to help if they do. We try hard in Student Wellbeing and the Office of the Dean of Students to spread messages about the wide range of support on offer. StressLess is a great initiative by the Students' Union but for some people they need more focussed individualised support and that is what we can provide e.g. through Student Wellbeing, Chaplaincy and other services. I'd love to hear if you have any ideas of how we can spread this message further to our student population.
    Lena
    Student Wellbeing
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    Thank you for your questions so far We'll be here to help all day today so please feel free to ask away!
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    Definitely agree with notrumzah that it does seem to be a bit...expected? to struggle at some point. I think students tend to have dark humour that simultaneously is and isn't helpful--helpful in that as we joke about it with each other we realize we aren't alone, but unhelpful in that it perpetuates negative working habits and maybe leads to someone not finding help when they need it! I know that I delayed speaking to my supervisors and to the Wellbeing Team, because I thought it was just "normal"--after all, how many Student Life memes on Facebook revolve around this?

    I suppose a solution is in distinguishing that you are an individual with entirely different physiological and emotional reactions to others, and to not compare yourself to your friends when it comes to grey-area symptoms of a larger problem. For example, I mentioned I found it difficult to leave my room. I know deep down that unless I leave the house at least once a day, and unless I work in the library or my office, I won't be able to be productive and my mood will plummet. On the other hand, my friends are more than happy to work from home and can do productively and in a great mood. I would say to myself, "Oh but so-and-so does that, why don't I do the same?" and thus enabled myself to ignore the underlying emotions that would lead me to staying inside for longer than was healthy for me.
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    (Original post by Michelle Bieger)
    Definitely agree with notrumzah that it does seem to be a bit...expected? to struggle at some point. I think students tend to have dark humour that simultaneously is and isn't helpful--helpful in that as we joke about it with each other we realize we aren't alone, but unhelpful in that it perpetuates negative working habits and maybe leads to someone not finding help when they need it! I know that I delayed speaking to my supervisors and to the Wellbeing Team, because I thought it was just "normal"--after all, how many Student Life memes on Facebook revolve around this?

    I suppose a solution is in distinguishing that you are an individual with entirely different physiological and emotional reactions to others, and to not compare yourself to your friends when it comes to grey-area symptoms of a larger problem. For example, I mentioned I found it difficult to leave my room. I know deep down that unless I leave the house at least once a day, and unless I work in the library or my office, I won't be able to be productive and my mood will plummet. On the other hand, my friends are more than happy to work from home and can do productively and in a great mood. I would say to myself, "Oh but so-and-so does that, why don't I do the same?" and thus enabled myself to ignore the underlying emotions that would lead me to staying inside for longer than was healthy for me.
    Hi Michelle. I totally agree with you. I don't think people always understand how something they say might feel to another person if taken literally. People also tend to imagine that they are the only person feeling how they do. I hear this so often with people not thinking for one moment that anyone else around them might feel or have felt the same as they do. 1 in 4 people experience mental health difficulties yet we can still feel so alone with it. Its such a shame we are not more open about mental health and I truly hope one that that will change and we will talk about it as we do physical health.

    Lena
    Student Wellbeing
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    To all current uni students, do you have any top tips you can share for managing your wellbeing/mental health whilst studying?
 
 
 
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