If you’re a student and have ever felt down or even depressed, you’re less alone than you think. Research from the National Union of Students found that 78% of students believe they’d experienced mental health issues within the last year. With the usual January blues, the pressure of exams and essay deadlines as well as the usual student stresses, it’s important that you’re aware of where you can get help. Start your New Year off right by taking care of your mental health.


A concern for student welfare

Student life can mark a huge change for anyone, particularly if they have left home for the first time. Despite the fact that almost 8 out of 10 students have experienced mental health issues in the last year, 54% of them did not seek support. The findings are especially worrying given that 33% of respondents claimed to have had suicidal thoughts in the last year, a figure which was drastically higher at 55% amongst those who did not identify themselves as heterosexual. It’s extremely important that students therefore are aware of the help and advice that is available to them if they for any reason are feeling anxious or depressed or have any other concerns about their mental health.


Signs of a mental health condition

You may experience a number of symptoms as part of a mental health condition, many of which you may just brush aside. You may wish to seek help if you experience any of the following symptoms:

Difficulty sleeping

Continuous low mood

Prolonged lack of motivation

Loss of appetite

Low energy or feelings of tiredness

Inability to make decisions

It’s important to stress that these are just a small number of symptoms which could signal a mental health issue. If you experience a number of these or any other symptoms which are a change to your normal behaviour, it’s important that you seek some help.


Where to get advice

If the strain of university is becoming too much, you’re experiencing concerns about your finances or any other aspects of your personal life, it’s important that you seek help. Sometimes talking to someone about how you’re feeling can help to ease your worries, without feeling judged or embarrassed. If you’re a student in Richmond, there are many places which can offer you help and advice, including:

The Richmond Fellowship – One of the UK’s largest voluntary providers on mental health support and services in the UK.

Richmond University Healthcare and Counselling Services – Richmond University has many options for local GP surgeries and counselling services who can offer assistance to students suffering from mental health conditions.

Your local GP – Your GP will be able to discuss your mental health issues and offer treatment if necessary. Seeing your doctor about a mental health condition does not mean you will be automatically prescribed medication, so if you’ve been put off seeing your doctor for this reason, don’t let it stop you seeking help.

The NHS – The NHS has many great resources to help you deal with mental health issues, as well as providing advice on different areas of mental health and where to go in order to seek help.

January can be a tough time for anyone, but if you’re feeling particularly down or you cannot simply put your mood down to the time of year, it’s important that you seek help. Getting help is the crucial first hurdle towards getting better, so make sure you don’t suffer in silence.