Lack of mental health support from university departmentWatch
I am a second year at University, I love my course and academics is very important to me, however this year i've had some challenges regarding my mental health i.e. anxiety, lack of motivation, feeling super down. I have however made positive changes, I have reached out for help and am getting counselling, as well as attending a CBT group for anxiety and going to mindfulness sessions etc, and have made a greater effort to get up and go to class even when I really don't feel like it
However my attendance has slipped from having a few weeks where i really struggled getting up and out, but I still make as much effort as I can to keep up with my readings etc, I start my deadlines early because Ive worked a lot at the weekends to relieve financial stress. My department clearly noticed my low(ish) attendance and I had to schedule a meeting with the person responsible for 'making sure students are okay'
So I went to the meeting, left and cried, basically, because although I explained to the lady that I was seeking help, ive struggled and made changes and am cutting down my work hours, she was so patronising and brushed off my mental health problems. I was basically told to 'be an adult' and to 'suck it up' as well as have the legitimacy of my anxiety questioned and told that in a work place environment I would have been fired, and that I am expected to go to every single lecture from now on
I understand where she is coming from, but at the same time it has made me feel so unsupported, because I have been trying my best to go to as much as I can and make small changes, yet now have that extra pressure. I have been treated as If i am lazy when they know thats not true, last year I worked hard and got consistent firsts in my assessments
Sorry that this is a bit long,
I am just unsure of what to do, because I am still struggling but trying my best and doing what I can and in my opinion, thats all I can do
Student life, in partnership with UEA
You should speak to your GP, and have your mental health difficulties documented by a medical professional in that capacity. Then, you can apply for DSA from SFE, and be assessed formally by your universities accessibility department/team. Once your problems are documented properly, provided they meet the criteria they are protected under the Equality Act (2010) the individual noted would simply be unable to approach the matter in the way described, as that would be a form of discrimination which is illegal under the Act. This will also allow (require, actually) your university to assess you and make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your mental health difficulties, which ultimately should help with your academics.
Just sucks that the person who is meant to look out for you feels they can undermine a persons experiences like that and just tell you to suck it up, If i had worse mental health problems that could potentially push someone over the edge