The impact of student life at university or college is likely to bring a number of changes to your life. Whilst some of these changes and new experiences may be enjoyable, some may be extremely challenging and could begin to affect your mental wellbeing or make existing issues worse.
The current COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty this brings also adds to the complexity and challenges to the everyday life of a student.
Start a Conversation, De Montfort University, University of Leicester and Loughborough University have joined forces to produce a Mental Health and Wellbeing Resource pack for you to use while you are studying in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland. Please click the download at the bottom of this page.
Make positive changes to support your wellbeing now
The Five Ways to Wellbeing
The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a great place to start keeping mentally and physically well. The Five Ways are daily acts that can benefit your mental health and wellbeing. They can be adapted to your circumstances, even if you're self-isolating.
The Five Ways are Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Learn, and Give. Read on for tips on how to support your mental health using these methods.
Connecting is all about developing and nurturing your social relationships. Having a strong support network can
help you through difficult times in life and can combat feelings of loneliness or isolation. In times like this, when you may be isolated for long periods of time, it is important to stay connected to friends and family. One example could be:
- Making the most of technology – video chat apps like Skype and FaceTime are a great way of staying in touch with friends, family and colleagues, particularly if you live far apart. Try to do this regularly
Being active is a way of finding physical activity that you enjoy. Incorporating physical activity into your day to the best of your ability is an excellent way of developing your mental wellbeing and is something you can do to boost our mood even when self-isolating. Why not try:
- LRS's ideas for being active at home – visit www.lrsport.org/active-at-home
Taking notice is reminding yourself to look at the small things in life, which is proven to improve mental wellbeing. This may feel like a difficult task if you are isolated, and have been for a long time; but here are some suggestions:
- Develop a mindfulness habit, which can be done through free mindfulness apps for your phone
- Be mindful in watching the news – if constant updates are making you feel more anxious, take time away from social media or TV
Learning new things throughout your life is great for improving your self-esteem and keeping mentally sharp. You could do this through trying something completely new or trying to return to activities you once did and have always meant to pick up again.
- Do a crossword puzzle or sudoku, or play a challenging game
It is proven that people who volunteer their time in some way are much more likely to rate themselves as happy and feel more connected to their community. Now more than ever, acts of kindness can go a long way in helping yourself and others. Why not try:
- Helping a relative or neighbour who may not be able to visit the shops for groceries.
I need more support to manage my mental health and wellbeing...
We understand that when you are feeling low, you may struggle to use the Five Ways to Wellbeing to support your wellbeing, or you may already be doing this, and things just aren't getting better.
No matter what university you are studying at, there is support available on campus, or digitally, to support your mental health and wellbeing. Please see links for each university below:
- De Montfort University: To ensure that we direct you to the appropriate service you must first book a Single Point of Access Appointment (SPA)where your needs will be assessed. These appointments can be booked via MyGateway
- University of Leicester: Please contact the Mental Wellbeing Service if you have any questions or would like an appointment
- Loughborough University: Please complete the MENTAL WELLBEING REFERRAL FORM for an appointment
- Alternative option, a self-referral can be made to Lets Talk Wellbeing however you must be registered with a local GP Surgery
Colleges or sixth-forms in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland may have similar services, please check with your tutors or wellbeing advisors.
Students - alternative support is available for you locally
If you would like support for your mental health and wellbeing outside of student and academic services and you are not in crisis or the situation is not life-threatening, these services may be of interest to you:
Lets Talk Wellbeing
If you are aged 16 or over and having difficulties such as feeling low, anxious or stressed and would like help from some short-term talking therapy. This service is available to those aged over 16 years who live in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland and those who are aged over 18 years in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
You can refer yourself directly by completing the self-referral form here.
At the first appointment with your Let's Talk – Wellbeing therapist, we will work with you to understand what the problem is and to agree the next steps.
Together, you and your therapist will plan a programme of support and self-help activities that match your individual needs and have been shown to be effective and helpful. The options may include a stress control course, group workshops, one to one appointments, self-help books, leaflets or computer packages, and telephone support.
Together you will decide how long this support is required depending on your needs. If you decide a course would be best to get you started, you could attend this within a few weeks. Other face to face options may take a little longer to arrange.
Turning Point Crisis House
Mental health issues can be triggered by an incident or situation: a time of emotional stress such as a relationship breakdown, housing or university problems.
Turning Point provide fast, open-access support, to guide you through these challenging times providing an alternative to, wherever possible, hospital. Turning Point will help you resolve your crisis and develop coping strategies to prevent or manage future situations.
What is a Crisis?
A crisis is someone's personal reaction to an event or experience in their life they find hard to cope with.
People may experience crisis because of many events. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Relationship breakdown or difficulties
- Loss (of a loved one, job, home)
- Physical health issues
- Caring for another
- Violence and trauma
- Pressures from work or study
- An accident
- A natural disaster
- The onset of mental health issues
If you would like support from Turning Point, you should contact them on their 24/7 mental health crisis helpline for over 18's in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland area on: 0808 800 3302 or via email Leicestershire.Helpline@turning-point.co.uk.
Please note that calls are not answered by medical staff, and they will not have access to your patient notes)
Contact your GP
Contact your GP for an appointmentover the phone or online, and rest assured: your mental health is a completely valid reason to speak to a doctor. You doctor may be able to refer onto specialist services that are not listed on this page.
We strongly advise that you register with a local GP as soon as you move away to University, particularly with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
You can search and register for a local GP here.
I feel like life is not worth living and i don't know where to turn - What should i do?
It can be incredibly distressing to feel like life is not worth living. We want to help you get the right support immediately.
If the situation is life-threatening or an emergency, you should always go to A&E if you can, or call emergency services on 999.
NHS Central Access Point
If your situation is urgent but not life-threatening, you should call the 24-hour NHS Central Access Point on 0116 295 3060.
This service will link your call to a clinical who can assess your needs and advise, support, signpost or refer you directly to the appropriate service.
Please note, the NHS CAP is not an emergency service, if you require immediate assistance and it is life-threatening please dial 999 now.
Urgent GP Appointment
Alternatively, if your situation is urgent but not life-threatening, you can request an urgent appointment with your GP. Telephone appointments are often widely available.
Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Resource Pack (Zip Archive, 429 Kb)
This pack is available for all people aged 18 years or over in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. It is designed to provide tools for self-help, what to do in a crisis and where to turn for help. As well as a comprehensive list of local services available to you, both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Children and Young People Mental Health and Wellbeing Resource Pack (Zip Archive, 3.4 Mb)
This pack is available for all children and young people up to 19 years of age in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. It is designed to provide tools for self-help, what to do in a crisis and where to turn for help. As well as a list of local services available to you, both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.