Mental health awareness has thankfully been on the rise in the past few years. Men in particular are being urged now more than ever to help break the stigma surrounding their mental health struggles and speak out about them, just as they would with physical ailments.
For a range of reasons, life at university for us all can sometimes throw up many mental challenges. Whether these be financial worries, exam stresses, feelings of homesickness or worries about the future.
Many students come to university without having lived on their own before and doing seemingly straightforward chores such as food shopping can be a whole new experience. In addition, many students may also fall on hard times with limited cash flow and the costly expense of student accommodation. Budgeting becomes key to making sure you are not accidentally overspending. Some students rely on payments from their parents to see them through until their next loan comes in. Those who don’t have that option often have to look towards part-time work as a source of additional income, which I have found vital to be able to pay for rent, bills, food and petrol etc.
Despite this, it’s important to note that money stress doesn’t have to get on top of you. If you’re an LJMU student there are a number of supportive services that can help us all to stay within our budgets and better manage our finances.
Juggling the assignment and exam schedules across all the modules is another aspect of university life that every student has to learn to deal with, as we all try our best to not drop the ball. Finding the balance between getting on with assignments and revision, as well as making time for the commitments in your personal life can be a challenge. I’ve found that LJMU lecturers have been really helpful when it comes to helping us find the right balance. My fellow students and I were told right at the beginning of the year about the importance of finding the balance and making sure that we do enjoy ourselves, as well as knuckling down with studies.
In fact, LJMU provides a range of services to support students should they feel worried about anything to do with their academic studies, finances or even personal life. These include the Student Advice and Wellbeing team and the Student Engagement team, as well as the self-help cognitive behaviour therapy programme SilverCloud – an online course to help you manage stress, anxiety and depression.
The Student Advice and Wellbeing team do sessions which will be helpful to those who struggle to manage their money called ‘How to Survive on a Student Budget’ and host practical sessions to manage stress and anxiety, much related to mindfulness.
Overall, as a student here I do feel as though the university takes the mental wellbeing of their students seriously, but many of the issues that cause mental challenges are down to the individual concerned to have the courage to seek the help they need. After all, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink...