Mental Health at UoB: a guide to the help available

We all have mental health, so let’s look after it

anxiety depression eating disorder mental health suicide university

The time for being coy about mental health issues has been over for some time now, and the true seriousness of this condition needs to be known, spoken about, dealt with, and resolved. I was inspired to write this article because of how prevalent the issue is and how strongly I feel about opening up this conversation.

Male mental health is a particular issue because of the stigma that surrounds men feeling emotions. Firstly, I have to say outright that it’s okay: It’s okay to feel down, it’s okay to feel angry and it’s okay to feel the emotions you have.

Suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35, and 77% of men polled by the Priory Group admitted to having suffered from some form of anxiety or depression. To me, that’s unacceptable, and we can no longer be silent.

If you think you may be suffering from a form of mental health issue, tell a friend or family member you can trust.

There are so many ways to start your journey to recovery. You may want to start by talking to your nearest and dearest. If you are not yet ready to do this then there are other options.

Local Services: 

Pause – A drop-in services based in Birmingham City Centre, where you can drop-in and have a chat with someone about how you are feeling. Pause is there to support you with thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Open Door Youth Counselling – This service provides one to one counselling for children and young people between 12 and 26 years.

Birmingham Mind – This is the largest independent mental health charity that provides service in and beyond the City of Birmingham. They promote wellbeing and recovery as well as providing high quality support and challenging the stigma of mental distress. Find them by calling 0121 608 8001 or email [email protected]

Community and University based help:

The University of Birmingham (and many other universities) provide help, advice, counselling and other services for mental health issues. For UoB, you can find all the information you need on the Birmingham intranet, or mybham.

Wellbeing Service For students looking to develop effective strategies to help with studies, overcoming mild anxiety or need support in achieving their goals.

Counselling and Wellbeing – Psycho-educational workshops, therapeutic groups, and one-to-one counselling are all available through the student service. Online counselling can also be provided for students studying abroad.

Extenuating Circumstance Speaking to your personal tutor or welfare tutor is particularly important if you feel you may need extenuating circumstances for academic work or exams.

The University’s Mental Health Advisory Service – This is based in the Aston Webb Student Hubb and works with students facing mental health difficulties. They help students fulfil their potential by providing confidential advice about mental health.

Birmingham Nightline  Most universities will have some form of nightline, so if you don’t attend UoB make sure you find out the contact details for your university’s helpline. Nightline is a confidential and anonymous listening and information services ran by students, for students. Telephone lines are open from 6pm to 8am – 0121 472 4621.

UoB is here to help

Workshops to help with mental health and other support groups

Many groups explore issues and look to understand how it affects you. They think about strategies for managing the issues better in your life.

You can learn from other participants about their coping strategies. You can book a place on these workshops through the Birmingham intranet student service.

What can my guild do for me?

The Guild of Students provides help, support and information about various situations that students can experience during their studies. The Guild of Students website has information on mindfulness, triggers, awareness, local services, self-help guides, and student groups.

How to help yourself without friends/family?

Some people do not feel comfortable expressing these kinds of emotions to family and friends. That is completely fine – there are many other avenues that one can go down to get the help and support they need without talking to friends and family if they so wish.

What can we, as a community, do right now?

Share this post to share your support in talking about mental health. Start a conversation. Thank a friend for all they have done for you. Accept that everyone has things to deal with, and you are allowed to feel the emotions that you have.

Remember – we are all human. We are all here for each other, and we must all support each other.

More places to look for help:

For immediate help

Emergency Services 999
Samaritans 116 123
Nightline the number is dependent on your location

For advice

Mind Infoline 0300 123 3393
Rethink Mental Illness 0300 500 0927
Saneline 0300 304 7000
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1800 273 8255

For online help

Elefriends Elefriends.org.uk
Sane Sane.org.uk
Turn2me Turn2me.org/mental/health
Healthful Healthful chat
MindOut Mindout.org.uk
Anxiety UK Anxietyuk.org.uk

Apps

My 3 This app allows people who have suicidal thoughts to create lists of your own warning signs, coping strategies, distractions, network, plans to remove harmful objects and substances from your surroundings, and reasons to live.

Then you can email your safety plan to your friends, so they receive a list of ways to help you without you having to stress over how to bring up this conversation.

The app also has buttons that connect you to the National Suicide Prevention lifeline and also call the police.

Stay Alive  

The first part is called “Find Help Now”. This consists of many different resources:

National Crisis Support – gives links to support systems such as 999, 111, NHS A&E, Samaritans, Papyrus (for under 35s), Get connected (for under 25), CALM helpline (for men), SANE Mental Health Helpline, ChildLine, Mind, Breathing Space (Scotland), Lifeline Helpline (N. Ireland), C.A.L.L Helpling (wales), The Silver Line (older people).

Calm  

This app is all about meditation and mindfulness and is perfect for those struggling with stress or anxiety. There is a ‘breathe’ function which can be helpful to those suffering from a panic attack as well as Sleep and Meditation guides.

Remember:

Never think you’re weak. You have to be incredibly strong to fight your own mind and thoughts every day.

You will get through this. It may take time, energy and perseverance but it is possible – and you can do it.

Your illness does not define you.