5 Ways to Help Students with Mental Health Issues
Mental health issues affect everyone at some stage in their lives but are especially concerning for students who are exposed to greater levels of stress and pressure while they’re studying at college or university. This could be financial stress, anxiety about upcoming exams, term papers or depression to name a few.
One of the most common mental health issues among students at college is depression. According to the NHS, this affects people in many different ways and can manifest itself in a number of forms. Typically they range from feelings of hopelessness, low energy levels and a profound lack of interest in the activities or subjects you would normally enjoy, to more serious symptoms like having suicidal thoughts.
Exercise has been proven to relieve symptoms in those experiencing moderate to mild forms of depression. Ideally, The type of exercise you choose should be one that you enjoy otherwise it will be difficult to practise on a regular basis. Anything from walking or jogging, to dancing and weight lifting will help. The amount of exercise you need will vary from person to person. It’s a good idea to experiment to find out which forms of exercise work for you and can fit into your weekly routine.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep could be one of the most overlooked issues when it comes to managing our mental health. Most of us will spend around one-third of our lives asleep. This essential process is crucial to maintaining our overall well-being. Sleeping helps us recover from mental and physical exertion as well as playing a vital role in learning by consolidating memories and connections in the brain.
According to Mayo Clinic, meditation has been used to relieve stress and anxiety and calm the mind for millennia. When it comes to managing mental health, it could be a very useful tool in your arsenal. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out or anxious, meditation may help to greatly reduce these symptoms.
You can find detailed instructions online, but a basic meditative process usually involves focussing your attention on your breath with the intention of clearing your mind of the jumbled thoughts and overthinking that might be causing you stress and anxiety.
Use Modern Technologies in your education
Using modern tools can help to alleviate the stressors inherent in the daily life of students struggling to bear heavy workloads and meet important deadlines. Many different apps on the market will help you organise your documents, make structured goals and analyse your work for grammar mistakes and plagiarism.
It can be difficult to keep track of your essays and coursework to make sure they meet the requirements set by your college or university. Using a simple tool like a plagiarism checker makes it much easier to hand in an acceptable essay reducing the stress and anxiety you may feel wondering whether or not your essay will be rejected.
See a counsellor or therapist
The strategies we’ve covered in this article have been proven to help students deal with mild to moderate mental health issues. However, these strategies do have their limitations. Mental health issues are varied and complex and sometimes require the expertise of a professional like a counsellor or a therapist. If you believe your mental health issues to be more serious than the common ones experienced by most students, it’s best to seek the advice of a professional by reaching out to either your college counsellor or psychologist.
Being a student isn’t easy. Stress in its many forms can lead to a reduction in your mental well-being while you\’re juggling a busy life at a college or university. It’s important to know that there are vast numbers of different tools and strategies you can use to help improve your mental health. Regular exercise, getting enough sleep, practising meditation and using helpful tools have all been shown to help manage common mental health issues like mild to moderate forms of depression and anxiety.
James Collins is a former school teacher and writer. His work is focused primarily on the education sector. He has published many articles on a variety of subjects and is currently working on an e-book.