University Mental Health Day 2016

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University is a lot of fun, but there's bound to be at least one day where it really doesn't feel like it. Whether you're legitimately ill or you just really miss your mum, everyone goes through periods at Uni where they're not quite sure where to turn. Don't worry, Liberty Living is here to help.

At Liberty Living there are great Residence Teams in place to give you a nudge in the right direction, whether you're looking for a doctor, a chemist or just a chat. Most University campuses will have doctors on hand, and you should find out how to register if you haven't already. If you'd rather, most Universities will also be located close to surgeries open to the public in the town or city you're based in; and so you can always find out where this is. After closing times, your best bet is to find a walk in centre - they're free, and you can use Google to find out where your local one is. Remember, if it's a real emergency, you should always call 999.

That's the physical health stuff out of the way, but what about the rest of your wellbeing? March 3rd marks University Mental Health Day, and this is such an important issue. Thankfully, the world is waking up to the fact that an estimated one in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year, and these can be very wide ranging from both medical and social factors that contribute to difficulties.

There is absolutely no shame if University or another part of your life is part of the reason you're suffering. It's important to note that a mental illness is an illness often as serious as any other, and so you should be taken seriously and given a range of treatment options by a medical professional. It can be complex, and you may well be directed to a lot of different places, as sadly there's no 'quick fix'. Saying that, you must not suffer alone or turn to harmful ways of coping. I get it. There are people who will say you're attention seeking or whatever, but if you're dealing with a mental health issue it's entirely real and can be incredibly debilitating.

At University, it's often unspoken, but there are certain issues which are sadly quite prevalent. Eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and even self-harm are just a few examples. If you're feeling alone, you are not - please remember that. And if you're seriously worried for a friend, perhaps it's time to turn to someone you can trust.

It's not all about being given medication. Often, you'll be offered counselling or other services. Whilst you wait for someone to see you, it might be worth talking to a helpline or a close friend. See what the doctor can recommend. You could also take a look at information from Student Minds on further support.

Finally, at University you might be experimenting with stuff you might not have before. Providing you're safe and legal, it is your business, but if you need to talk to someone about your drinking or perhaps your sexual health, for example, there are places in most town that offer services, help and advice for free, so no excuses! Sorry to sound like an old person, it's just way easier if you just use your common sense.

There are lots of complexities in life but you aren't going to be ignored by Liberty Living if you ever really need something. They are there to help and if they can't, they'll know someone who will!

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