World Mental Health day is a day for global mental health education.
It aims to raise awareness around the social stigma and was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, and we're here to help combat it too.
What is mental health?
If you're in good mental health, you can make the most of your potential, cope with life and play a full part in your family, friends and workplace environment.
It can also be referred to as 'well-being' or 'emotional health' and contrary to popular belief, it's just as important as physical health.
'Mental health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass. But sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us.
Everyone is different. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time.' (credit: mentalhealth.org)
Your mental health doesn't always stay the same. You can suffer as a child, through your teen/young adult years or find yourself stuck later in life. Circumstances change as your move through different stages of your life.
Because of the stigma surrounding mental health issues, some people can struggle to open up about their problems, sometimes in fear that they won't be taken seriously.
Many people don’t even feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But it’s healthy to know and say how you’re feeling.
What are mental health problems?
Mental health problems range from general day-to-day stresses, to serious long term & debilitating conditions.
They're usually classified to let professionals refer people to the appropriate healthcare and treatment such as medication,m counselling or therapy groups. There's some controversial diagnoses that people are too often treated because of the label attached to them.
Nevertheless, it remains the usual way to classify symptoms in to groups.
According to samaritans.org, here are some of the key trends found in a recent report:
- In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
- 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
- In the UK men remain three times as likely to take their own lives than women, and in the Republic of Ireland four times more likely.
- The highest suicide rate in the UK was for men aged 45-49.
- The highest suicide rate in the Republic of Ireland was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
- There has been a significant decrease in male suicide in the UK, and the male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
- The suicide rate in Scotland decreased between 2016 and 2017 – this appears to be driven by a decrease in the female suicide rate.
- Suicide in young men in Scotland increased for the third consecutive year in 2017.
- Suicide has also continued to fall in both males and females in the Republic of Ireland.
- Rates in the Republic of Ireland have fluctuated more than in the UK in recent years, but it is currently at its lowest since 1989.
How do I get help?
At University, it's nice to know that you can get support and advice when you need it, especially as you are living away from home for the first time. The University of Chester offers a wide range of Student Support and Guidance.
Student welfare offers students advice and information on anything affecting their university life. You can speak to them over the phone, face to face and even through email.
You can visit their information points to access support with the following issues;
1. Well being
Offers information and advice on a range of topics including, stress management, developing resilience and achieving a healthy study/life balance.
2. Academic questions or concerns:
Student welfare staff can support you with academic concerns including information on assessments. If you are considering changing programme or leaving university, they can give you advice and guidance. (link to our FAQs on leaving). If a personal issue is impacting your attendance, you can discuss problems with them or contact your academic department.
3. Settling into university life:
Settling into university can be hard, if you have feelings of homesickness and isolation, student support can offer you the advice you need.
4. Money matters:
Need help budgeting? For all your financial needs including funding and bursaries, the welfare team can help. We also have a blog post on budgeting and managing your student loan.
5. Accommodation issues
Student Welfare can help you with housing concerns, whether, its university owned accommodation or the private sector you are living in, advice and guidance can be offered. For students living in university accommodation, a pastoral service is available to you. As the first point of contact, your assigned residential tutor can offer advice and help handle your situation if you live in student accommodation. However, if you are living in private accommodation or in one of our houses, you can report housing issues to our Chester office and we will advise on the issue. Alternatively, the SU (student union) can help deal with accommodation issues as well.
The university proctor office is slightly different to student welfare and guidance. It deals with complaints and investigates disciplinary issues. For example dealing with antisocial behavior on or off campus.
The university proctor is responsible for liaising with university departments and outside agencies - i.e. police, fire, local community groups and the local councils - to ensure that all our students receive the best help and advice in looking after themselves both on and off campus.
If you are unhappy with an aspect of student life, the proctor’s office can advise and support you.
Specific areas may include:
- Student safety 24 hours, on and off campus.
- Senior residential tutors, duty tutors and hall wardens who support students resident in University accommodation.
- Community liaison to ensure that relationships between students and local residents are positive.
- Anti-social behaviour unit ensures that all students can go about their studies, and private lives, within the university environment, without being disadvantaged by those students who do misbehave.
- Students complaints procedure for students who wish to make a complaint against the university.
Useful websites and contact details
University of Chester:
Telephone: 01244 511548
Telephone: 01244 511559
Telephone: 116 123
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM):
Telephone: 0800 58 58 58 - 5pm to midnight every day
Email: they have a webchat available
Telephone: 01244 344 409
Is your life in danger?
If you have seriously harmed yourself such as taking a drug overdose for example, please call 999 immediately. If you're unable or don't want to do this, ask someone else to call them for you, and to take you to A&E.
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