First year can be a scary time for everyone, regardless of what anyone says. That feeling of fear and struggle is doubled if you are also worried about your mental health. For many people, going to university is the first time they experience poor mental health or at least, the first time they seek professional help, and that can seem like a huge hurdle to pass – but it doesn’t have to be.
Queen Mary’s Advice and Counselling services offer many different types of help; one-to-one counselling sessions, group sessions and even resources for self-help for anyone who doesn’t feel up to therapy just yet. Everything is confidential – from the fact that you’re having counselling, to what you say during sessions. Not only can they offer you counselling sessions at university, but they will help you contact a local doctor’s office (GP) if you require help that they can’t offer.
Many people don’t seek out help because of the idea that they’re not mentally ill ‘enough’, but this is the way that poor mental health can make you feel. If you’re finding yourself upset, stressed or are facing any other mental conflict, counselling can help you work through these problems giving you an outlet to talk about what’s bothering you. They will never tell you that your problem is not important. If it’s enough to make you uncomfortable then it’s more than enough, never let that stop you from asking for help!
For those of you who are already aware of their mental health needs, it’s really beneficial to get in touch with the Disability & Dyslexia team. They can make your university experience much smoother and I’d recommend getting in touch with them as soon as you can! They can help with everything from extenuating examination circumstances to deadline extensions, it will be specifically tailored to helping you in the best way possible.
Here’s what people have to say!
‘In 2nd year, I went to the advice and counselling service after having mental health issues for years, and not receiving very much help. The service was able to refer me to a community mental health team after a quick assessment, and I felt really comfortable telling the services how I felt without the fear of judgement. They are a safe place to reach out to when you feel like there’s no one left you can speak to anymore.’
— Anonymous student
‘Being able to access drug and alcohol support in my time at university prevented me from dropping out. My support worker, Kelsey, was so understanding and it was wonderful to have a professional acknowledge me and not fob me off, and you’re never pressured to go completely cold turkey. If you’d prefer not go through the university system, Reset drug and alcohol support is located less than five minutes from campus.’
— Anonymous student
A little note from the wonderful Ella Harvey, VP Welfare for the upcoming year:
‘It’s really important to look after your mental health and that can take lots of different forms! Never worry that the way you feel is invalid or too irrelevant to use our advice and counselling service. Homesickness, the transition to uni and all the other inevitable feelings that come with being a fresher are challenging! It’s really common to find coming to university hard and that is what our advice and counselling service is for and why it is so important! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org!’