World Mental Health Day is over, but here’s everything BU and AUB offer

We’re here to keep the conversation going


As a result of World Mental Health Day happening this past week, there's been a huge focus on breaking down the stigma attached to Mental Health Disorders. However, this shouldn't just be something we focus on for only one day a year.

Student life and the incoming professional world can feel like a minefield to navigate. With a society that's so fast-paced, and the pressure to succeed ever–increasing, it's time to remember the words of Jessie J: "It’s okay not to be okay".

One in four of us will experience a mental health issue in our lifetime, and luckily the stigma that once existed around it, is slowly but surely diminishing.

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Anxiety and low mood are often caused by feeling out of control. Starting university is a time of huge change and a lack of stability. It's completely normal to not quite feel yourself when all of this is happening around you.

A new environment can make you feel anxious, low, and scared, but establishing some ways of feeling more in control of your new environment is an amazing way to bring some calm into your life.

Admitting you need help is a strength, not a weakness. If you had a broken arm, you would go to the doctors. It’s the same for mental health. If you feel like your head isn’t quite how it should be, you get help.

If you’re feeling low at BU or AUB, this is where you can seek help

1. Speak to your doctor

Your doctor can refer you to NHS services offering anything from medicine to talking therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). The NHS can be slow, but don’t be disheartened, there are many other short-term services they can put you in touch with during this original meeting.

2. Talk to your friends, and check in on yours

Putting on a front and pretending we're okay is a skill many of us have mastered. But it’s not always healthy. A friendly conversation once a week, just to discuss what’s on your mind, may be the difference between an anxious episode, or slaying your week.

3. make use of Campus Counselling Services

Both BU and AUB offer some amazing services to go and talk to someone who's trained to listen. You can drop in for a casual appointment, or email to ask about having some regular sessions with someone who can help unpick how you're feeling.

BU: Search "Student Wellbeing" on Bournemouth.ac.uk for advice

AUB: Email wellbeing@aub.ac.uk for advice

BU student Mika Rice-Jones has used these services herself, and told The Bournemouth Tab: "The university is great for providing a stepping stone to mental health support… the most useful service for me was undergoing CBT via the community mental health team.

"This therapy gave me a better toolset to independently manage my systems".

4. You can always call Samaritans, or Google steps2wellbeing

The town has many charity funded free services that can be accessed by everyone.

Samaritans offer phone call and in house services if you're feeling like you need to go and talk something through straight away.

Phone 116 123 from any phone or 01202 558090 from a landline.

Steps2Wellbeing is another service which is free to access. Go to www.steps2wellbeing.com and you can live chat with professionals about anxiety, phobias, OCD etc.

World Mental Health Day might have come and gone, but that doesn't mean we can forget about it for another year.