As many as one in five students suffer from a mental health issue, so if you are struggling with managing your mental health you are certainly not alone. Whilst going through a mental health problem is frightening and can feel isolating, the University of York offers a lot of support to help you manage these feelings and set you on the road to recovery.
Student support plans
I have been struggling with a type of anxiety called panic disorder since sixth form which at points has been very severe and debilitating. I was terrified to come to university and was convinced that it would only make my anxiety worse. Whilst my friends looked forward to starting university in September the very idea of Freshers’ Week made my stomach tie up in knots! But in my first week of university, I had a meeting with one of the lovely health and wellbeing team who worked with me to set up my student support plan.
The plan put measures in place to reduce my anxiety, such as extensions when I need them and not having to participate in seminar classes when I feel overwhelmed. This plan acted as a safety net for me. Knowing that I wouldn’t be picked on in my seminar classes helped me relax to the point where I found that I was making contributions on my own.
This was a huge change from sixth form where I would often miss lessons due to my anxiety. A student support plan ensures that your mental health problem will not be a barrier to learning and I truly believe that it has helped me flourish here at York.
Night-time can feel very isolating. When you are struggling with managing mental health you can often find your mind spiraling in the early hours of the morning. Nightline is a brilliant organisation that offers students support during difficult times. You can instant message, call or even drop in to their lounge located at Grimston House (COVID restrictions permitting) anytime you want to talk something through or just be in other peoples company during the night. The volunteers are all trained students and really friendly. Chatting to them can really help calm your mind.
If you’re struggling with your mental health definitely consider reaching out to the Open Door team. The Open Door team is made up of mental health practitioners and wellbeing officers who will usually offer you an appointment within two weeks of submitting a referral form. Most students are offered an appointment by the practitioner, who will work with you over one to six sessions to help you overcome the problems you are facing.
As well as all these fantastic resources provided by the university, there are lots of societies that can do wonders for your mental health. Joining any society can help reduce feelings of loneliness and help you to settle in at York. Sports teams will also encourage regular exercise which is really important to maintaining good mental health. The outdoor society organises weekly trips to the countryside to help you to connect to nature which has also been proven to improve mental health. The yoga society can calm down your mind and the dog society can always put a smile on your face. I’d really recommend trying out some societies to find one which benefits your wellbeing. With all the different groups on campus there is bound to be a group you’ll love!
If you are struggling with your mental health don’t forget that you have a whole community here at York who all want to help you get better. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support, that’s what all these services are here for!