University of London advises struggling students in halls to ‘take a nap’

The university’s latest advice to alleviate stress has been described as insensitive and disrespectful by struggling students

University of London Intercollegiate Halls has come under fire following a distasteful Instagram post advising students struggling with mental health issues to “take a nap”.

The post aiming to help those looking to “de-stress” in halls of residence suggests that students should: “Talk to a resident advisor, FaceTime a friend, workout in your room, meditate, and take a nap.”

However, many students are outraged at the insensitive comments considering they are currently facing much greater issues such as lack of heating, inability to pay their rent because of Covid and mental health issues amplified by the pandemic.

UoL described the suggestions in the comments as “just a few small things that could make a real difference.”

UoL Intercollegiate Halls has been under pressure to reduce the rent in the wake of poor service towards students during lockdown. Most recently, students of the halls reported broken heating whilst temperatures outside fell below zero:

Along with a 40 per cent annual rent reduction and no-penalty contract releases, rent strikers have also demanded “proper quarantine food and mental health support”.  Notably, however, Instagram posts of poor mental health advice did not feature as part of the demands.

One student told The London Tab: “I can’t even attend lectures due to so much anxiety. No matter how hard I try to be positive, nothing works. Losing motivation to work or write is really increasing. The future looks really bad.”

Another student said: “This (post) makes me sad because I’m literally in tears from anxiety right now whilst attending a lecture, camera off of course but this is so hard.”

The outrage of students has been captured by the UoL rent strike team who created the following meme. It has since picked up traction on Instagram, as many students are speaking up to support those in untenable living conditions at present.

In response to the “how to de-stress” post, a spokesperson from University of London said:

“The safety and wellbeing of students in halls is our top priority. To highlight some of the online activities and support services we continue to run for the many students staying with us during national lockdown, we have been posting wellbeing tips on our social channels. These included a post yesterday with five top tips to destress which included:

•  Talk to Resident Advisor
•  FaceTime a friend
•  Workout in your room
•  Meditate
•  Take a nap

“We sincerely apologise if these suggestions caused any offence when our intention was to support students.”