With us now entering the start of September, for many people this could mark the beginning of the end of summer. Especially for students who begin their next years of education this month, whether that be school, college or university. Whilst for some this might be an exciting time, for a lot of people this transition period into the new school year can be a stressful, anxiety-inducing time. Let’s talk about this…
In a study released by the Government this year, the proportion of home students who disclosed a mental health condition to their university has increased rapidly since 2010, and in 2020/21 this was over 5%.
Additionally, the NHS released the following statistics back in 2020, 17.6% of secondary school children (aged 11 -16) were identified with a probably mental health problem in 2020. An increase from 12.6 back in 2016. The last couple of years have been increasingly difficult for students with the move to home-schooling due to the pandemic and then then having to adapt back to in-person teaching once the lockdown's ended.
There can be a number of reasons as to why school or university may add to someone’s stress or anxiety such as;
- Academic or financial pressure. Like most things in life, with education, there is a desire to do well and make sure you pass and with that comes a lot of stress. People can feel stressed trying to get their work done, or even just doing a good amount of revision. Then if they are struggling, there can be a lot of anxiety towards whether or not they feel like they can pass. For university students, it can be their first time living away from home too, so on top of academic pressures they also need to be able to pay for food and rent which can also be a very stressful experience.
- Loneliness. School or university can be a very lonely experience for people which can add to feelings of isolation or in some cases discrimination.
Like always with mental health everyone has their own story and there may be many different reasons as to why someone is struggling. However, we can still show support!
Here are some quick tips if you are a student and struggling at all!
- If you’re feeling stressed, talking to someone can really help. Whether it is with a friend or family member just let them know you are struggling. Even if you’re living away from home, you can always message them, or even use Zoom/Teams or Facetime! During my own time at University, this was something that massively helped, as with someone I was able to determine what exactly was causing stress and what could be done to help with each one!
- Finding hobbies and things you can enjoy to distract yourself. Whilst you may spend a lot of time studying or doing coursework it is always good to take breaks and just do something you enjoy. For me, it was always gaming, watching films/tv shows, reading or even going to watch Villa play!
- Set small goals. It can be good to just set yourself small goals each day that you can slowly get through without stressing out too much over trying to get lots done in one go. For example, if you have an essay to write, maybe just set a goal of 100 words a day instead of completing the entire thing in one go.
- Have a good sleep schedule. Getting a good amount of sleep is so important to keep yourself refreshed for each day. Whilst at the time it can seem like a good idea to stay up to 4am each day or even staying awake all night and then sleep after your lectures, it really will just make life so much harder! So get plenty of sleep instead.
- Seek support. There is never anything wrong with seeking proper professional support if you are struggling. Whether that be school-provided support or elsewhere. Mental health is just as important as your physical.
Starting from this September, we will be offering a Library Listening Space-Time at the Burton Library!
On Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm. This is a great chance for students to come on down to have a chat about things they are struggling with or just about anything! So please do come over and say hi.
With it being an open FREE space where you can show up without having booked or anything like that, it allows people to come in and have a chat without the added pressure that having a scheduled meeting may bring with it.
Through this, you can
begin the conversation about mental health maybe identifying things in life you may be struggling with, which could also progress into one of our fantastic team members who run the Listening Space introducing you to some of other services available.
Mental health can be a daunting scary thing, but to have someone there in the early steps to give you a bit of support and show the right direction can truly be amazing.
Everyone deserves support for their mental health, and we at Burton and District Mind are here for you. If you need support, please get in touch.