21 September 2018
Students urged to look after their mental health
Look after your mental health - that's the message to students
arriving to study in the Bristol and Bath area this month.
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) is
raising awareness of good mental health amongst students who have
left home for the first time, who may have travelled from overseas
to study here or who may be returning to their studies for second
and final years.
Director of Nursing for AWP, Julie Kerry, said: "Leaving home
for the first time, a new place to live, managing study and
finances can all be quite daunting. We want to make sure that
students look after their mental health, know how to spot the signs
when something is wrong and know what to do.
"It's OK not to be OK and we want to encourage anyone who is
struggling with their mental health to talk to someone about it.
There is lots of support out there for students who may need to
talk. Also, if you're worried about a friend who may be behaving
differently or out of character, encourage them to seek help.
"We also want students with pre-existing mental health problems
to make sure they get the help and support they need from their
university's welfare team, personal tutors and GPs. They will be
able to provide information about additional help like extra time
to complete work and counselling services."
Top tips for students:
• Register with a GP
• Get plenty of sleep
• Eat proper meals rather than snacking
• Don't drink too much
• Take regular exercise
• Recognise the signs of poor mental health - confused thinking,
prolonged low mood, feelings of extreme highs and lows, excessive
fears worries and anxieties, social withdrawal, dramatic changes in
eating or sleeping habits, strange thoughts (delusions) and strong
feelings of anger
• Seek help from your GP or the university's welfare
• If you have a pre-existing mental health problem nominate a
parent or guardian the university can talk to if necessary, ask for
your notes to be transferred to your new GP and contact the
university's mental health adviser who will be able to co-ordinate
support for you
• If you need to talk call the Samaritans on 116 123 or Papyrus on
0800 068 4141
• If you're worried about a fellow student, flat mate or friend,
try to encourage them to talk and to seek help
Eight ways to look after yourself at
• You won't necessarily make friends in the first week. Look out
for student societies and activities where you'll meet like-minded
• If you're struggling with friendships, or pressures of work, or
missing home, speak to your university's student support services -
they will have wellbeing advisers who can help you.
• If your university has mental health advisers, they will be able
to help you with practical things like arranging extensions for
• Talk to other people about how you're feeling, including friends
and personal tutors - don't bottle it all up. Ask your friends,
too, how they're feeling. A culture of openness about mental health
• You don't have to spend all your time at university. There's no
harm in going home at weekends if you're missing your family.
• Self-care is important. Make sure you're getting enough sleep
and eating proper meals, rather than snacking or relying on
takeaways - and don't drink too much.
• If you have an existing mental health condition, disclose it
before you start, so your university can prepare to offer you the
support you need. You may also qualify for a disabled student
• If you think you have a serious mental health problem, go to
your GP as soon as you can - don't hope it will just go away.
If you need to talk to someone the Samaritans can be contacted
in the UK on 116 123 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can
contact the mental health charity Mind by calling 0300 123 3393 or
visiting mind.org.uk. Papyrus are available to talk to on 0800 068
For more information on good mental health and tips and advice
visit www.awp.nhs.uk , find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter