Joanna Murphy, Mental Health Co-ordinator at WBS, offers advice on how to invest in your mental health and wellbeing during your studies and where to go if you feel you need support.
What is mental health?
Well it’s something we all have...it’s just as important to care for our mental health as it is our physical health.
Mental health problems affect people from all walks of life – all ages, all genders, all cultures and all ethnicities.
There are likely to be friends, members of your family, work colleagues, and staff and students at WBS who have experienced mental health issues. You may be experiencing or have experienced a mental health issue yourself.
Mental health problems are very common – 1 in 4 people will experience problems with their mental health every year. People are talking about mental health more which helps to reduce the stigma associated with it.
You may or may not know that the following people have experienced mental health problems:
Prince Harry, Stormzy and Lady Gaga have been open about their mental health issues and shared their experiences.
Experts agree that many historical figures, such as Isaac Newton and Florence Nightingale, had diagnoses of severe and enduring mental health problems. This did not stop them becoming successful and achieving many things in their lives.
Investing in your mental health – checks and balances:
Positive balance sheet
- Eat well – avoid too much sugary food and caffeine
- Rest – get plenty of sleep and have some time to chill
- Have fun! Take part in activities that you enjoy
- Spend time with friends and family – connect with others
- Exercise regularly – go the gym, participate in sports, walk around campus
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol (under 14 units a week)
- Be kind to yourself – ask for support – we all need support at times; if you are struggling with academic work, events in your life and are feeling very stressed, speak to someone
- Allow yourself to make mistakes – we are all human after all! We all make mistakes, it is important for our emotional and psychological development to build resilience to cope when things go wrong
Negative balance sheet
- Not getting enough sleep/rest
- Poor eating habits
- Social isolation/cutting off from others
- Lack of exercise
- Too much caffeine
- Drinking too much alcohol/using illicit drugs on a regular basis
- High levels of stress for prolonged periods of time
- Not seeking support
Where do you go if you feel you need support?
Wellbeing Services at the University of Warwick
Wellbeing Services are split into 4 services:
Counselling Team –
- Based at Westwood House
- The team offer 1:1 sessions or workshops on issues such as how to manage stress, perfectionism, and problems with sleep
Disability Team –
- They work with students primarily with physical disabilities, i.e. physical health conditions such as diabetes, people with sight and hearing loss, and people with autism
- The team will assess for reasonable adjustments for students as well as mitigating circumstances
Wellbeing Team –
- The team work with students presenting with a wide range of problems, i.e. issues with accommodation, issues with relationships, and low level mental health problems such as low level anxiety or stress
Mental Health Team –
- We work with students with more severe and enduring mental health issues
- Students may already have a diagnosis of a mental health condition or may be developing a long term mental health problem
- We also look at reasonable adjustments and mitigating circumstances for students as well as giving advice and support around managing mental health problems
How to refer to wellbeing services
This is a self-referral process which can be found on the Wellbeing Services webpage. Click on the relevant link for you:
- For mental health issues click on the box and select ‘appointments’ to submit a mental health query
- Your query will come through to our team and we will contact you
- Referrals for WBS students can be booked in to see me – appointments will generally be on Tuesdays and Thursdays but can be arranged for other times
- If you have any questions or queries either phone the team on 02476575570 – there is always a member of the team on duty Monday to Friday during office hours – or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna Murphy is based at WBS on Tuesdays and Thursdays to support students at WBS with any Mental Health concerns. Joanna is a Mental Health Professional and has worked in Community Mental Health Teams prior to her role at WBS.