Taking charge of your own mental health support.
We have been in a state of nationwide lock-down for a few weeks now. This has understandably taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. Some may have managed to cope more than others. However, professional and academic commitments still need to be met even during a pandemic. The pressure from keeping up with that alongside the uncertainty of the current situation may lead to heightened anxiety among students. This can manifest in many ways some of which are erratic sleep, loss of appetite, irritability or panic attacks.
With the pressures from the crisis and everything being run remotely, the access to professional mental health support has unfortunately diminished. However, you don’t have to suffer in silence. You can always talk to family and/or friends. You also can help yourself get through this safely using these and other self-help tools.
Following my personal tutor’s advice, I have been using Sleepio for a few weeks now. It aims to help with sleep deprivation through encouraging users to implement cognitive techniques to manage anxiety-induced insomnia. A virtual sleep expert called ‘The Prof’ teaches the user these techniques through interactive sessions. Ultimately, this app is to help you fall asleep and sleep through the night. From my experience, It takes time to notice any results but it is better to persist and give it a a fair shot.
WorryTree acts as a journal where you record what you are worried about and what you can do about it. Its methodical approached is derived from cognitive behavioural therapy and it helps you gain a new perspective through noticing and challenging your anxiety triggers. However, it can only be beneficial if you have identified your anxiety triggers and if they are within your control.
This app will not prove helpful to everyone as people take individualistic approaches to expressing how they feel. Cove helps you process your emotions through music by creating your own music journal. I use it rather infrequently but it is a useful tool to have especially if you struggle to express yourself through words.
There are more resources available on the NHS mental health apps library.
The Student Counselling and Mental Health Advice Service remains open to all students and is running remotely. If you are a student here, you can submit an online referral and you will be contacted by a member of staff to arrange a session. Moreover, There are weekly online mindfulness workshops facilitated by experienced counselling/mental health therapists. They aim to provide a safe space for students to share how they feel in complete confidentiality. Personal tutors and senior tutors are also available to support you however they can. You only need to reach out.
Stay home. Stay safe. Do your best to cope.