University Mental Health Day brings together the university community to make mental health a university-wide priority and create ongoing year-round change to the future of student mental health.
We understand that this year we can't be together physically, this won't stop us coming together to create change virtually. Now more than ever it's important to get the nation talking about student mental health.
Join us as we inspire conversations, take action and create change.
There is a wealth of support services available to students who are dealing with mental health difficulties or simply want to learn more. One of the most well-known being Student Minds, who have developed a platform known as Student Space. This wellbeing resource offers expert information and advice to help students through the challenges of Coronavirus, making it easier for them to reach out or to gain the information they need to safeguard their own mental health.
The below article is just one example of the guidance available on the Student Space website:
Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, most of us are spending far more time online and on screens. It’s important to think about how we use that time, and the potential impact on our wellbeing. Being online isn’t necessarily bad for you – in fact it can have a positive impact on your wellbeing. How you engage with it, and what you use it for, will define whether it boosts or erodes your mental health. The online world can help us to feel more connected to others, more productive, and more engaged. It can also provide us with entertainment, intellectual stimulation and fun, but can also make us feel disconnected, tired or irritable.
Five steps to healthy digital habits:
1. Take breaks
It seems obvious, but time away from a screen can help you to refocus and boost your energy. It can be tempting to use your breaks to slip from one on-screen activity (working) to another (Netflix or social media). Try to be aware of this impulse and make active decisions, mixing up your screen time with time away from screens.
2. Switch off distractions
Having your notifications turned on reduces your ability to concentrate. Give yourself the space to focus on the task at hand by switching off notifications and logging out of social media. This will make your work better and it will feel more satisfying and enjoyable.
3. Turn off all screens an hour before bedtime
All screens emit light that can disrupt your sleep. Take a screen break before bedtime and switch your phone off, so you won’t be woken by messages. Let your friends know that this is what you do, so they won’t be surprised when they don’t get a reply until morning.
4. Be mindful
Be aware of how much screen facing you are doing and what you are spending time on. To help you take control, you may want to use apps that help you track your screen usage.
5. Monitor the impact of activities on your mood
Early research into the impact of Covid-19 showed that those who spent a lot of time engaging with news online were experiencing a bigger decrease in their wellbeing. Pay attention to how you are feeling when you engage with news and social media. If some activities pull your mood down, scale them back and replace them with activities that help to pick you up.
At any time, you can get free, confidential support from a trained Student Space volunteer who will listen, help you talk through any issue that you are experiencing and provide you with the tools you need to help you move forward. Alternatively, you can always contact our own dedicated Leeds Arts University Student Welfare team, your GP or NHS 111 for support.
To help raise awareness for University Mental Health Day, share these services and join the thousands of people online using #UniMentalHealthDay and craft your own campaign by sharing how and why you want to improve the future of student mental health.