Health

Mental Health Resources To Support Students At Uni In 2020

Coronavirus has brought a new set of challenges for students – here's where to get help, advice, & support.

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University can be an incredibly pressured place at the best of times. However, the pandemic has brought a new set of challenges for students in 2020. Many were encouraged to move into their university accommodation in September, only to be told that teaching would all be online, and some are facing social isolation after COVID-19 outbreaks on campus.

Students in locked-down halls of residence have been pictured sticking post-it notes to their windows with messages like “help” and “refund”. While some are trying to make light of the situation, others have likened not being able to leave or see family and friends to being in prison.

The National Union of Students have argued that students should be able to return to their families, because being "trapped" in university accommodation only adds to their anxiety at an already difficult time. Labour's shadow education secretary Kate Green echoes these sentiments, telling Sky News that students have been put in a “desperate” situation leaving them “fearful and anxious”.

So, what's available to help students who find themselves in these situations? The NHS says that recognising that you need to talk to someone can be the hardest step when seeking support for your mental health. In the absence of a tutor or campus counsellor, calling home to speak about concerns with friends and family could be a good place to start.

From charities to helplines, here are some great mental health resources available to support students at university in 2020.

Resources & Information

NHS

The NHS offers resources specifically tailored to students who are struggling with the pressures of moving and settling in to university. There's advice on how you might be feeling and why, plus who to speak to, including different support and therapy options should you choose to take that path.

Student Minds

Student Minds works with academics and professionals, as well as new students, to improve mental health on campuses. There's a specific area on the website called “Student Space” with advice on how to deal with the move to university during the pandemic. This includes articles on wellness and taking care of yourself, as well as loss and bereavement.

Young Minds

Young Minds is a non-profit that focuses on supporting and empowering children and young people. On its website you'll find a Crisis Messenger service where you can speak to an expert, as well as information about mental health and why you may be struggling.

Mind

Mind is one of the leading mental health charities in the UK. It offers various resources on adjusting to student life and coping with the move to university. This includes first-person stories from fellow students, plus other suggestions of where you can get support outside of university.

Save The Student

Save The Student is a website dedicated to all things related to university. The health and relationships segment includes articles on self isolation at university during the pandemic, how to look after your mental health, and how to access healthcare in a new town or city.

Helplines

While many counselling services at universities have remained closed, or are working at minimal capacity, these are some helplines you can call or message to speak to someone directly.

Campaign Against People Living Miserably (CALM)

CALM has a helpline that you can call between 5 p.m. and midnight every day on 0800 58 58 58. There's also a web chat function, if you prefer to message.

Samaritans

You can contact Samaritans on 116 123 anytime, or email jo@samaritans.org.

Sane

SaneLine is open between 4:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., on 0300 304 7000.

The Mix

The Mix is aimed at people under the age of 25. They offer a helpline – open Sunday to Friday between the hours of 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. on 0808 808 4994 – as well as email, text, web chat and counselling services.

Nightline

Nightline is run by students to provide peer-to-peer support. You can check out the website to see if it’s offered at your university.

Switchboard

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and are looking for specific support, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day; web chat or email chris@switchboard.lgbt.