We spoke to the head of Student Wellbeing on how to manage your mental health

‘I hope people know they can always come to us’

It is hard being a university student right now, with pending deadlines, exam season approaching, juggling friendships and relationships, all while in the middle of a global pandemic.

It may be difficult to keep your head above water, trying to be productive and remaining positive. Despite that, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Lincoln Tab spoke to Julie Spencer, the head of Student Wellbeing at the University of Lincoln.

Ms Spencer shared her thoughts and advice for students who may be struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Julie Spencer explained the number of mental health cases increases “year after year”. “We have been active in encouraging help for students, by making special skills groups that tackle certain issues which have risen in lockdown,” she said. These issues range from loneliness, managing anxiety and healthy relationships.

She continues to say: “We, as a service, have especially quick responses and we have never closed over the lockdown period so I hope people know they can always come to us! Some other activities we have created at the Wellbeing Centre are ‘walks and talks’ to get students out and active and specialist mental health advisors to help students with certain issues.”

They are also hosting a Breakfast Club from 9 to 10 on a Monday morning, and “students should feel free to come along.”

Ms Spencer said: “Mental health, from September 2020 has now been addressed as an essential part of the curriculum within schools, along with physical education, it has been a long time coming but it is refreshing to see the tide finally turning in regards to mental health and mental wellbeing.”

Earlier this week, Exeter uni grad Dr Alex George was appointed the Government’s Youth Mental Health Ambassador.

In a tweet, he said: “The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has appointed me as the Ambassador for Mental Health. I will be working with the Government to make mental health a priority, for both current and future generations. Now more than ever we realise how fundamental this is. It’s time for change.”

She suggested some ways to take care of your own mental health could be to achieve 15,000 steps every day, having dinner and a conversation with your family.

Late last year, the University’s Student Wellbeing team has partnered with Student Life to create a new app aimed to enhance the wellbeing and mental health support for students transitioning from school to university. The app has a range of features including weekly challenges, time management tools, and wellbeing exercises. The app is currently available on the Apple app store and the Google Play store.

Student Support can be contacted on 01522 837080, [email protected], and can be found here on campus.

They are open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 am to 5 pm, and on Fridays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Their drop-in times are 12 pm to 2 pm, Monday to Friday. During term-time, their drop-in times are also open from 5 pm to 7 pm on Thursdays.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please speak to someone or contact Samaritans on 116 123 at any time. You can also contact Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774, Mind on 0300 123 3393, and Calm (Campaign against living miserably, for men aged 15 to 35) on 0800 58 58 58.

You matter.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

A Uni of Lincoln student is running 60 miles in 30 days to raise money for Mind

Dr Alex is the only influencer worth following right now

These 5 businesses in Lincoln have had to permanently close due to the Covid-19 pandemic