The impact of student life when studying at university or college is likely to bring a number of changes to your life. While these should be enjoyable they might also be challenging and can have an impact on your mental wellbeing and health. Challenges might include:

  • developing new, and maintaining old, relationships
  • anxieties about work
  • managing finances
  • coping with homesickness
  • balancing study with other commitments
  • finding a place to live

Depression and Anxiety

It's normal to feel down, anxious or stressed from time to time, but if these feelings affect your daily activities, including your studies, or don't go away after a couple of weeks you should get help.

Signs of depression and anxiety include:

  • feeling low
  • feeling more anxious or agitated than usual
  • losing interest in life
  • losing motivation

Some people also:

  • gain or lose weight
  • stop caring about the way they look
  • do too much work
  • stop attending lectures
  • become withdrawn
  • have sleep problems

Help and Support

  • Talk to someone

Telling someone you trust how you feel, whether it's a friend, member of the family, tutor, counsellor or doctor, may bring an immediate sense of relief. Many mild mental health problems can be resolved this way.

  • University counselling services

Local colleges and universities have a confidential in-house counselling service you can access, with professionally qualified counsellors and psychotherapists.

You can usually find out what they offer and how to make an appointment in the counselling service section of your university's website. This free service in universities is available to both undergraduates and postgraduates. You may also be entitled to 'reasonable adjustments' such as extra time in exams, extensions on coursework, and specialist mental health mentor support.

Many universities also have a mental health advisor who can help you access the support you need.

  • Student-led services

Many student unions also offer student-led services. Although the students involved aren't qualified counsellors, people may prefer to talk about problems such as stress and depression with another student.

  • Suicide-safer Universities (PDF, 7.1 Mb)

    For Universities: this guide provides a framework to understand student suicide, mitigate risk, intervene when students get into difficulties, and respond to these tragic deaths. It sets out the steps you can take to make your community suicide-safer.