It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
Mental health is a problem with students that effects 1 in 4 students who go to university around the UK.
Key issues that have been brought up by ARU students are;
- Don’t always know about the support the University offer
- Long waiting periods to be able to speak to a councillor
- Don’t always cater to every students issues -mostly focuses on student stress
A recent survey I made, taken by University students shows how 2 people in every 3 students have not used the services the University provide.
I spoke to someone who has not used the service before, asking why? The response was because they “have never really heard about the service” until I mentioned about it to them. This made us think, maybe the service doesn’t advertise enough about the support they give.
One response in the survey read, “I wish I had known more about the university’s mental health help in my first year, with what they provided and how they could have helped me, so I could have got in contact sooner.”
A one-to-one interview with ARU Student Kate Lever gave more insight to how students feel about the services. When Kate first arrived at the University she used the well-being services, but as time went on she gradually stopped using them.
“I checked things out when I was in my undergrad. I literally just started in January. I have used quite a few of the services here, like student support and the counselling and stuff. I haven’t used it recently, but in my undergrad I did.” -Kate
When asking Kate whether she would use the Universities support again she said ” It’s a bit tricky, because universities are so big, and there are so many people and everybody has their own complex problems. That whenever I have gone to the support their practitioners tend to be not specialized in anything.”
However she proceeds to say ” But if you want to talk to people about your general university stress, then that is helpful.”
For some students, it’s very hard to know when you need help with your mental health and tackle the problems you could be facing. In Anglia Ruskin, there is a mental health service that you can talk to when you feel yourself getting low and needing someone to talk to. This service is called the ‘Counselling and Wellbeing Service’.
In the service, they tackle a wide range of mental health problems such as:
- Eating Disorders
The core hours for the service are 9:00 – 5:00 from Monday to Thursday and 9:00 – 4:30 on a Friday.
The service is available for one to one services and also in out-of-hour times. With the out-of-hour support, you can call the Cambridge or Chelmsford Samaritans (depending what ARU you are at), who have a 24-hour helpline that you can use to talk to a professional about the problems you may be facing with mental health.
With the one to one service, you can speak to a councillor with confidentiality, especially if you don’t like talking about your problems with a massive group.
With that being said, there are also workshops that you can go to with other people if you feel comfortable enough speaking about what you suffer from. These workshops have help for developing your confidence and self-esteem, settling-in to living on your own and anxiety and stress management.
Take a look at the website for further details
Written by: Jade Medley and Steven Wells
Image credit: Jade Medley
Interview with Kate
ARU Wellbeing service – https://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/student_services/counselling/about.phtml
(Date accessed: 25.02.2018)