We caught up with RSU Mental Health Officer Oli and BAME Office Jemimah to discuss Mental Health on campus. Here’s some thoughts and tips from them for keeping yourself and those around you feeling positive.
First – Food for thought
- Lack of human contact isn’t in our nature – especially lack of contact between friends and family. We’re all in the same boat because of covid-19, so remember you’re not alone.
- Flat reps and Part-Time Officers are also students and also not perfect. We might also be suffering so we can share our experiences. Treat us as humans! Our social media’s are below, message us for a casual chat if you feel like one.
- Feelings of anxiousness during the pandemic are bound to be much more intense and heightened, and it’s manifested in different ways. Whether you’re anxious for fear of; contamination, becoming ill/family members becoming ill, increased their awareness – it’s not unusual to not feel yourself.
- For most people, not having a set routine is difficult. Living on campus, planning events, going to lessons etc, all give us some sort of routine. And it’s not easy to get into a new one when you lose your rhythm.
- Social media – you may find yourself comparing our lives to others we see online when we’re not having interaction with ‘real life people’ and because of isolation this can be quite detrimental – give yourself a break.
“We present an avatar of the best versions of ourselves, and that’s not always realistic”
- Its becoming more acceptable to talk about, but there’s still huge amounts of discrimination. The link between racism, discrimination and mental health is still prominent in many cultures. Take some time out to educate yourself, it may help to understand yourself or the people around you.
Helping people in your flat
- First, just listen and accept how they’re feeling. It’s normal to feel out of sorts, especially now!
- Allow them to feel these things. Don’t shove them off, let them know it’s ok and ask what they think might help.
- Give strategies. Find things that benefit their mental health – group activities, film nights, zoom calls from people outside of your flat, CONTACT IS KEY!
- Refer them to wellbeing if you feel they need extra support.
Top tips for Lockdown/restrictions on Campus?
- Remind yourself you’ve done it before, you can do it again!
- Speak to a professional if things are getting worse. Don’t leave it too late.
- Keep to a routine – it’s so important!. It’s scary to not have structure in your day. Make an outline of your day – like a to-do list. It will help give you some meaning.
- Stay in contact with friends and family – you never know, they could be struggling too.
- EXERCISE – even just going for a walk. It’s key to keeping positive!
- Take up a new hobby! Try a new course (I used Harvard online school), keep your brain working – a new language, a new skill… whatever you fancy trying!
Who to contact
External professional help:
PHONE – Samaritans – 116123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or TEXT – Shout – 85258 if you’d prefer not to phone.