Students and Their Mental Health
Mental health issues can affect anyone of any age or gender, but according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately one in five people aged between 13 and 18 live with mental health problems. And what’s even more alarming is that 75% of people who suffer from mental health issues develop them before they are 24 years old.
With these statistics, it’s not surprising to see many university students above the age of 18 suffering from mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. With high expectations, busy day-to-day lives and money worries affecting their mentality, they must have access to support at all times. Unfortunately, recent surveys have found that this support is insufficient.
Keep reading to learn more about students and their mental health, and for ways you, as a student, can look after your mental health better so that you can focus on what’s most important at your age.
Student Mental Health: a Crisis
Watchdog has claimed that the proportion of students declaring mental health issues has doubled in the past five years. Last year, 3.5% of undergraduates in England told their university that they suffer from mental health conditions. These percentages may seem small, but with so many young people applying for university, not counting the number of students above this age, these percentages are going to continue to add up significantly.
There are many reasons as to why a student can suffer from mental health issues, stemming from their past or present. They may have arrived at university already feeling depressed or anxious, or have developed these feelings as a result of their new environment or the heavy workload, for example.
Continue reading for my advice on how to manage your emotions at university so that they don’t consume you in your personal life or academic life.
Mental Health Journal
A mental health journal is a great way to keep track of your emotions; if you are suffering from depression or anxiety, for instance, but do not know how these emotions are being triggered, by writing down what you were doing at the time of an episode, you can pinpoint the cause.
Just take five minutes each day to write down these important factors, as well as how you are feeling. After a few days or weeks, you may start to recognise a pattern which may be related to specific issues or events in your schedule that encourage such negative thoughts.
Regular Exercise or Walks for Mental Health
One fantastic way to boost the endorphins in your body is to exercise more. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend an hour in the gym every day pumping iron, but it does mean leaving your room and getting some fresh air every now and then will help alleviate some of your negativity.
If you didn’t already know, by releasing endorphins through exercise, it has been scientifically proven to clear your mind and become more positive.
Therapy Sessions for Mental Health
Therapy is a fantastic way for you to get help for your mental health. When suffering from mental health issues, we shouldn’t feel like we are facing them alone. Therapy can be the crutch that you need to lean on at the start of your mental health recovery, as well as providing you with advice and support as you begin to understand your emotions.
Often therapy gets a bad reputation of it being unnecessary or weakness to ask others for help. But, almost one in five people have consulted a counsellor, while nearly half of the population at least knows someone who has.
Therapy is a platform that allows you to confide in someone, without the added pressure of being judged or not heard. With the correct support and guidance from someone so experienced, you will be able to work towards accepting your emotions, rather than working against them.
Check out my website today to learn more about my services as a therapist and how they can benefit students and their mental health. As a student, you can be responsible for so much; such as housing, money and food and it can also be hard to transition from being a young person living at home to this independency.