Here’s how to access mental health support at Cardiff University
it’s ok to ask for help
Students are struggling with mental health perhaps now more than ever. Returning to university has been a completely different experience. With no in-person lectures, limited socialising, and less opportunities to leave the house for work, students are left feeling more isolated and anxious. The well-known struggle of cabin fever has become all too familiar.
World Mental Health Day on 10th October is a day to recognise the mental health struggles that we can all face at times. Here’s a list of all the ways students can access mental health support at Cardiff University…
Mind your Head, it’s important
Mind your Head is a student-led organisation, which “offers accessible routes to mental health management”. It focuses on both academic and social pressures faced by university students, and offers students activities and events to ease the pressures of student life. The ‘Mind your Head Café’ is one of their initiatives, which involves meeting with other students to chat about shared worries or to simply check in. Talking with other people who are in a similar situation to you can be a really helpful way to keep on top of your mental health. A problem shared is a problem halved, remember.
They hold virtual Q and A sessions, and you can find all the details on their Facebook Page.
There’s also the ‘Mind your Head: Move your Feet’ walking group, giving students a chance to go on walks with their peers around Cardiff, for some all-round self-care. These opportunities offer students a chance to get out and about, to leave their shared flats or houses, and to socialise with others Cardiff University students. During this unpredictable and mentally debilitating time for students, this is more important than ever.
Talk to your personal tutor
Personal tutor meetings are a helpful and supportive environment in which to voice concerns and pressures that you are facing. Although tutors primarily deal with academic questions surrounding your learning, they can also provide helpful information and guide you to mental health and counseling services at the university. Each meeting is conducted in a private, understanding, and safe environment.
General Counseling, Health and Well-being support
Talk Campus is a social networking site that students can access to talk, anonymously, with professionals or other students going through the same experiences. There are also self-help resources, online events and courses, and an urgent advice page.
A Cardiff University spokesperson has stated that due to the pandemic there will be “limited services in person”. There will be some select services that have to be carried out in person, however the majority will be conducted remotely. The spokesperson stated, “we will review service delivery over the course of the academic year as the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic evolves”. If you wish to get in contact with the university for support please access the Student Connect Service.
Access to the Disclosure Response Team
This team specifically deals with students who have experienced abuse, harassment, or any inappropriate behaviour. The team offers a safe space to talk about anything that you have experienced or are currently experiencing. From practical advice on how to keep safe, to guiding you to specialist agencies, the Disclosure Response Team can help in variety of ways. There are also guides and courses that help identify signs of violence and abuse, that can not only help you, but someone you are worried about.
LGBTQ+ Support and Well-being
There are Trans Support advisors, who offer guidance and support to those who are transitioning whilst at university, or those who would like to find out more information. Alongside this is Trans Space which is a online space, exclusively for anyone who identifies as trans. This is a safe environment that can offer support or just a friendly chat from others who identify as trans. Other services include the LGBT+ Well-being Champions Programme, Chaplaincy Support and The Gathering, and the LGBTQ+ Estranged Students.
Meet the Student Intervention Team
The Student Intervention Team are a service provided by Cardiff University, that provide support to those who are presenting as at risk to themselves or others. On their page they provide a number and an email, in which students can get in contact with their team. The Student Intervention Team also provide links to other organisations that provide support and guidance on self-harm and suicidal thoughts. These are available and accessible to anyone within the student community.
Top tips from the Mental Health Foundation
The World Mental Health Foundation offer their ten top tips of how to look after your mental health. It has some great and simple practical tips on how to keep on top of your mental health and well-being. Starting with TALKING! Do not forget to talk about how you feel. Try and exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and if you drink alcohol, drink responsibly. The foundation also encourages people to keep in contact with friends, seek advice from others, participate in new and exciting activities, and do things that you know you are good at. Confidence is key. Their final tips are accepting that we are all different, and to finally look out and care for others, you could be making someone’s day without realising.
Now more than ever, we need to look out for our peers in the student community. Everyone is likely to struggle at some point or other, and we should be there to support one another. After all, we all know how hard it is to be a student at the moment.
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• Want to write for the Tab? We’re recruiting!
• So you’re coming back to Cardiff, but what are the rules?
• Staying safe in the city: what to expect when you return to Cardiff