Understanding Mental Health - Life skills
Please be aware that this blog post will be addressing sensitive topics such as depression, suicide, PTSD, anxiety and other mental illnesses.
Mental health is now a commonly discussed topic, with awareness raised about mental illnesses more than it ever was previously. Mental health is always a major agenda for the UK government and education institutions.
For this World Mental Health Day (10 October) we have written a post to help our students, parents and staff better understand mental health, and the steps that can be taken to find you or your loved one support.
So, what is mental health?
Mental health can refer to a person’s current state of mind. This can relate to mood, emotions, actions and behaviour. It can be influenced by many factors, including your day-to-day life experiences, genetic predisposition, biological factors and upbringing, amongst other reasons.
According to statistics presented on the Anxiety UK website, 1 in 10 young people are inclined to experience a mental health disorder, with anxiety and depression being the most common mental health issues. As disorders develop frequently between teenage and early adult years, a lot of students find themselves struggling without often knowing the reason why.
How can you know if you have mental health issues?
You can take a look at our article on potential symptoms of mental illness, which lists some feelings or actions to watch out for. However, without the help of a professional psychiatrist, licensed counsellor or in some cases, a GP, you cannot diagnose your condition for certain.
Why would a person develop mental health issues in College?
It is difficult to say, as there can be a range of reasons for developing a mental illness. Here are just a few:
- Genetic or inherited conditions
- Feeling isolated
- PTSD following incident(s)
- Growing feelings of anxiety around new people
- Taking new medication, including the contraceptive pill (for females)
- Dealing with an abusive partner or having relationship issues
- Complicated family issues, such as divorce
- Disliking your programme or teachers
- Fear of failing
- Worrying that missing classes will result in not being able to catch up
- Having to retake, whether that’s an exam or the entire year
- Not getting along with/making friends
- Fearing that your grades will be too low for the career path you wish to follow
- General feeling of stress.
- Not knowing what job you want after College.
Sometimes, you can also feel as if your mood has changed without any trigger at all. In these instances, you can speak to a counsellor or doctor, who can help you to identify why you feel the way you do, as well as suggesting treatments or medication.
If you feel like you are struggling with your mental health or if you have a feeling that something may be wrong, you can speak to our MidKent College Student Counselling Service by calling 01634 383239.
Remember that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to mental health. Taking the first step will be difficult, but if you talk to us, we promise to support you to have the help you need.
If you need to speak urgently to someone out of College hours, then we recommend contacting these numbers. There are nationwide helplines available for every hour of the day. You can call:
For those with diagnosed anxiety, phone lines are open Mon-Fri 9:30am to 5:30pm.
Phone: 03444 775 774 Text Service: 07537 416 905
If you have mental health problems and require information or advice, call from Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm. There is also an urgent help tool available on the website to help you manage and understand your situation.
Phone: 0300 123 3393
If you suffer from OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), panic attacks, phobias or anxiety, No Panic can provide advice and support with self-recovery. Youth helpline is available Mon, Tues, Weds and Fri 3pm to 6pm. Thurs 3pm to 8pm and Sat 6pm to 8pm. Standard helpline open from 10am to 10pm daily.
Youth Helpline (13-20 year olds): 0330 606 1174 Helpline: 0844 967 4848
A society for the prevention of young suicides, contact Papyrus if you are finding it difficult to cope with life or if you know anyone who is having suicidal thoughts. Hours are Mon-Fri 9am to 10pm and weekends 2pm to 10pm.
Phone: 0800 068 4141 Text: 0778 620 9697 Email: email@example.com
Lines are open 24 hours a day. You can either call or email The Samaritans depending on whether you would prefer to speak about your issues or write them down.
Freephone number: 116 123 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t know what type of helpline you need, use the Find a Helpline service to find a number for your situation.
Alternatively, you can make an appointment with your local GP for further advice. In an emergency, please call 111 or 999, especially if you require immediate medical assistance.