This blog is all about where to turn if you need extra help with life’s stresses. Sometimes things can become so overwhelming it is difficult to know where to turn. There is a lot that we are bombarded with upon entering uni but not so much about mental health.
Not all of us have friends we can turn to, or know where to get help when things get tough. Perhaps you have never experienced anything like this before, a bout of anxiety or a momentary depression can deepen the more we don’t address it or ignore it completely.
Fortunately, there are many excellent options which all universities provide to help students with life’s stresses.
- Uni advice centre. This is a good first port of call to discuss any issue which may be impacting your studies. You may have suddenly experienced a loss and don’t know what to do, or are running low on money and need an extra boost. Whatever the problem is, be sure to chat to the uni advice centre first and they will be able to suggest manageable options for dealing with the issue, and of course it is all confidential.
- Uni counselling services. Many of you may not know about this, but most universities offer a free counselling service for about six sessions to discuss whatever issue might be bothering you. Give it a try, and if it isn’t the right option for you, you do not have to follow through with the entire six weeks. It is simply a nice space to be able to open up to someone non-judgemental.
- Call nightline or a night telephone service. Again, most universities offer a service like this. Check out the website of your institution for more details. At Edinburgh this is a non-judgemental service where someone simply listens to you. Asking helpful questions to make you think about an issue, sometimes it helps to simply have someone at the end of the phone. It might just be that at 4am you cannot sleep for stressing about exams, sometimes a ten minute phone call is all you need to feel better.
- Budget counselling services. Similar to the uni counselling services, there are many city services which offer free or discounted sessions for those on a budget or students. These are seldom advertised so you have to look around a bit, or ask your uni advice centre for a list. Perhaps you need longer than the six weeks, or perhaps you don’t want to mix uni with your issues, this is a nice option to keep uni life and personal problems separate. Again, you can stop the service at any time.
It is not easy leaving home for the first time, but it helps to know that you are not alone. There are many services available, and sometimes all it takes is a small boost to get you feeling yourself again, and ready to tackle the stresses that uni can sometimes bring. Of course if you realise you are feeling worse than these services can remedy, it might be worth chatting to your GP about other options to take, and there are always options out there so you should never have to feel completely lost.