Issues in emotional wellbeing and mental health will affect many students at some point during their university career. For some, these will become serious enough that they need to see a counsellor and/or their GP. However, many students find that online resources can be helpful for short-lived emotional issues. Online resources are also a good starting point for students who may not feel confident enough to speak face to face about their issues. They can sometimes help students articulate problems, becoming a stepping stone to getting further help.
Online resources can also be useful for staff who may face problems – as with students, they won’t replace face to face counselling or medical support, but they are a useful cushion especially in times of stress.
It’s worth familiarising yourself with some of the online resources we have around mental health, so that when problems arise you know where to go, or where to direct students.
The QMUL Library has a self-help reading collection which contains books on both specific problems and general issues such as study, stress and family problems.
The Advice and Counselling Service maintains a useful page on building emotional resilience which gives sensible, compassionate advice on both building resilience and recognising when help is needed, including guides for students in specific situations (e.g. exam time). It also explains about options such as interruption of study, so it can be a useful page to send students if they are feeling like they might want to interrupt – it can help them decide whether or not interruption might be the best option for them.
There is also a page on common problems which lists resources available for specific problems: this is a great place to send students who know what their problem is and would like some further resources to help them.
When referring students to online resources, remember to emphasise that these can be a stepping stone to further help and treatment, so it’s OK to feel that the resources are not enough. They can always use the resources to think through their problems before seeking further help from the Advice and Counselling Service, their GP or any other service.
Interested in student mental health? Check out Student support and mental health: some key information and Simple things to help students with mental health issues.