Looking after your mental wellbeing
Studying at university can be stressful, and many of us will experience difficulties with our mental health at some point during our studies. It's really important to look after our own mental wellbeing, as well as keeping an eye on our friends around us when we are able.
This article has lots of tips on how to look after your mental wellbeing, as well as who to contact if you'd like support for your mental health.
Ways to look after yourself
The NHS list five ways to improve your mental wellbeing. Why not give them a try and see if you feel a difference?
Connecting with people can really help to improve your mood. This could be as simple as grabbing a coffee with a course-mate before heading to the library, spending some time with flatmates, or giving friends and family back home a phone.
You can also connect with people through sports clubs and societies. Did you know we have over 200 societies affiliated with the Student Representative Council (SRC)? Find a club that interests you here!
- Be Active
You can get active in many ways - even walking or cycling to campus is a great start!
If you live in University of Glasgow accommodation, you get a free off-peak gym membership to the University's gym. All you need to do is scan your student card to get in.
Joining a sports team can also be a fun way to get active and meet others. There are 50 clubs associated with the Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) that you can join. It doesn't matter if you're a complete beginner looking to try a sport out, or a seasoned pro, the clubs cater to all members. Take a look at the list of clubs here!
- Keep Learning
If you're reading this, then you're already learning as a University of Glasgow student! Learning can give you a huge sense of achievement and confidence.
The University's Learning Enhancement & Academic Development Service (LEADS) has some great tips for studying, assessments and exams. They also host workshops for you to improve your study skills and ask questions. You can find out more about what LEADS do and how to get involved here.
Learning doesn't just include going to classes and doing homework - learning outside of the classroom is also great for your wellbeing. You could learn to play an instrument or learn how to cook a new recipe. Clubs and societies are a great place to start, or you could watch tutorials online or grab a book from the library.
If you live in UofG accommodation, look out for on-site events that give you a chance to try new things. In the past we've had CPR classes, cooking classes, a self-defence taster workshops, yoga and dance classes, and more!
- Give To Others
Even small acts can be really gratifying. Simply smiling at someone, letting someone know you're thankful for them, or saying something kind can be enough!
You could also volunteer with a charity, or help out a friend with something.
If you'd like to get involved with a charity, the SRC have a number of societies aligned with charities and volunteering as well as a database of volunteering opportunities, which can be found here.
- Be Mindful
Being mindful, or paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.
There are lots of ways to practice mindfulness. Check out University of Glasgow Sport's mindfulness and nutrition page for guided meditations, yoga and stretching, and more.
Getting help for your mental health
If you're struggling with your mental health, you are not alone and there are a number of ways to get support.
If you are afraid that you, or someone you know, may be a danger to themselves or others then please seek help immediately by calling 999.
Other services you can contact include:
- Your GP or NHS24 on 111
- The Samaritans on 116 123
- Breathing Space from 6pm - 2am weekdays and throughout the weekend on 0800 83 85 87
- The University Crisis Team on 0141 330 4444
If you live in University of Glasgow accommodation, you can also contact your Living Support Team out of hours who can provide a listening ear and assist you in accessing help.
Who can help?
You can speak to your GP about your mental health. If you are not registered with a local doctor, we recommend you do so as soon as possible. Information on how to do this can be found here.
The University's Counselling & Psychological Service (CAPS) offer on-the-day consultations if you'd like to speak about your mental health. These appointments go live at 9am each day, and are often taken quite quickly so we recommend you log in ready to book just before 9am. The link to book an on-the-day appointment is here. They also offer blocks of counselling, which can be booked here. Their website also has a wealth of self-help resources.
If you live in UofG accommodation you have access to your Residence Life Teams. Residence Life Assistants (RLs) are senior students who live at your residence and are trained to provide out of hours support for a huge range of scenarios. They can provide a listening ear, are trained in Mental Health First Aid, and can help signpost you to services that are relevant to you. Your Residence Life Teams are on call from 6pm to 8am on weekdays, and 24 hours at weekends. The number to reach them will be displayed throughout your residence, and can be found here.
If you have a chronic mental health condition you can register with the University's Disability Service. While they cannot directly help with your mental health, they can ensure that appropriate support is arranged for you during your time at UofG. This includes examination and study arrangements or additional funding from the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).
The Peer Support Programme provides a confidential student-led listening service, allowing students to talk and share their problems and receive support from trained Peer Wellbeing Supporters. Some of the issues people come to Peer Support to talk about include: anxiety, stress, isolation and loneliness, dealing with change, relationship problems, homesickness, financial stress, academic concerns, etc.
The University Chaplain welcomes all students, offering pastoral care and a calm space at the heart of campus. Chaplains are someone independent you can talk to in confidence, who can provide support and advice at times of stress and crisis. They're also available to help you explore spirituality.
Togetherall is a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings and learn how to improve and self-manage your mental health and wellbeing. It's free to use by the UofG students, anonymous, accessible 24/7, and provides online peer and professional support by trained counsellors. It also has self assessments and recommended resources, self-guided courses to do at your own pace, as well as creative tools to help you express how you are feeling.
The SRC Advice Centre provides a list of health and wellbeing contacts, as well as out of hours and emergency contacts on their website. You can also make an appointment to speak to one of their experienced advice workers who provide guidance on a wide range of subjects and are able to link to other support services if required.
The SRC also have a great website for looking after yourself.
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