I need support with my mental wellbeing.
If you don't feel you can keep yourself safe right now, seek immediate help by:
- going to any hospital A&E department
- calling 999 and asking for an ambulance if you can't get to A&E
- asking someone else to contact 999 for you or take you to A&E immediately
- calling UCLan Security on 01772 892068 if you are on campus. Provide them with your exact location and request that they call for an Ambulance.
If you need some support right now, but don't want to go to A&E, help is available and you don’t need to face this alone. You can call the Samaritans if you would like to talk in confidence about your thoughts. No matter what you're going through, you can call them for at any time, from any phone on 116 123. They're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You don't have to be suicidal to call them.
Other options you may wish to try are:
- contacting your GP for an emergency appointment or the out of hours number if one is provided on your GP surgery’s voicemail
- calling NHS 111 (England)
- contacting your local crisis team
Mental Health problems are common with 1 in 4 of us experiencing them at some point in our lives. If you have noticed that you are acting differently, feel low, worried or stressed, seeking support is encouraged. You can do this through a number of ways; by speaking to your GP, self-referring to the Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing Team at UCLan looking at self-help available online.
- Talking things through with someone you trust can sometimes help.
- To a Mental Health Advisor. They offer a free, confidential service to students who are concerned about their mental health. They offer assessment appointments, advice and signposting to various services to best meet a student’s needs. They are professionally trained and experienced practitioners who have all previously worked in the NHS and are members of The University Mental Health Advisers Network. Students can seek help for a variety of difficulties including anxiety, depression, self-injury, hearing voices, suicidal thoughts and eating difficulties.
- To The People Team who can provide advice, guidance and signposting for staff.
The World Health Organisation (2014) defines mental health as ‘a unified state of mental, physical and social well-being, where a person can achieve their potential, is able to effectively contribute to the community, and can handle the stresses of normal life’.
Enjoying good mental health and wellbeing helps us to deal with the stresses of everyday life. However, 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health problem in any year. Finding out more about some of the mental health problems people might face could help you to feel more confident when trying to support someone.
Mental Health Problems.
There are a variety of mental health problems that a person can experience. The Mind website provides further details on the following issues:
- Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all experience but becomes a mental health problem when someone finds they are feeling this way all or most of the time. Anxiety is often described as feeling stressed, tense, worried, uneasy or scared.
- Bipolar disorder is characterised by the experience of extreme periods of low, depressed mood and periods of high, manic mood.
- Depression is characterised by the persistence of feelings of sadness or misery.
- Eating disorders can occur when someone has a difficult and unhealthy relationship with food, and often co-exist with depression or anxiety disorders.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder where unwanted thoughts, urges and repetitive activities become an obstacle to the person's ability to live life as they want.
- Personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) occur when a person's personality traits cause regular, long-term problems in the way they cope with life.
- Schizophrenia is a mental illness that occurs when the parts of the brain that are responsible for emotion and sensation stop functioning properly.
- Self harm is when a person hurts themselves intentionally and it is usually used as a coping strategy to deal with intense emotional distress. It is difficult to know how common self-harm is, as many people describe it in different ways and many will never ask for help.
The World Health Organisation’s definition of mental health moves beyond simply the absence of mental illness, but includes the presence of emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. People who enjoy high levels of wellbeing are described as flourishing. In this context, flourishing means that the person enjoys feelings of happiness, contentment and curiosity and can engage fully with what is going on around them. Flourishing also means functioning well in the world; the person experiences positive relationships, has some control over their life, and has a sense of purpose.
The Mental Capital and Wellbeing project identified the drivers to wellbeing, and the New Economics Foundation (NEF) named the Five Ways to Wellbeing to communicate these: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. UCLan’s Students' Union has some helpful tips on implementing these at university.
At the University of Central Lancashire, we run Well@UCLan groups where you can learn about hints and tips to look after yourself whilst studying at UCLan. These workshops are held in the Drop-in Zone in the Library on Mondays 5pm-6pm. You may choose to attend the whole programme or select individual sessions. More information can be found on our webpages.
Where can I get support?
- The Student Wellbeing Service can help students experiencing a range of difficulties that are affecting their mental health and wellbeing. They offer a confidential, professional service, ensuring that students receive personal support, recognising people as individuals, all with different needs.
- The Inclusive Support Service. The University’s dedicated Inclusive Support Advisors can provide advice, guidance, and support to staff and students about a range of practical adjustments to your work or studies.
- The People Team Contacts. If you are a member of staff your HR Manager will be able to identify the support that’s available for you.
- Trade Unions. There are three trade unions that represent staff at the University: Unison, Unite and UCU.
- Staff Network Groups. The University has a number of staff network groups which you can view on the staff Intranet through clicking the link. These groups provide a forum for staff to discuss issues of mutual interest and the ability to raise issues in a safe environment. They can help new staff settle in, provide networking opportunities across departments and also increase staff knowledge of the University's activities.
- Counselling. It’s important that you take care of yourself. The Staff Counselling Service offers a confidential, accessible counselling service to all its employees, in line with the University's mission statement and policies. If you are a member of staff, you can email the Staff Counselling service or call 01772 892329 to request an appointment.
Other sources of support
- The Lancashire Care Foundation Trust Wellbeing & Mental Health Helpline is a Freephone out of hours, person centered listening environment for people requiring emotional support in relation to their own mental health or that of someone they know. Fully trained volunteers operate the helpline, they offer their time to listen and support callers. Call: 0800 9154640. Lines are open Monday – Friday 7.00pm until 11.00pm and Saturday & Sunday – 12.00pm until Midnight, 365 days a year
- Samaritans are available to talk about anything that’s troubling you, no matter how large or small the issue. You don't have to be suicidal. Call: 116 123. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Papyrus Hopeline UK The Suicide Prevention Advisers work with people under 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide to understand why these thoughts might be present. They also provide a safe space to talk through anything happening the caller’s life that could be impacting on them or anyone else’s ability to stay safe. They can also support people of any age who are concerned that a young person may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. They are open 10am – 10pm weekdays, 2pm – 10pm weekends and 2pm – 10pm bank holidays.
Phone: 0800 068 4141, text: 07860 039967 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lancashire Women are a service who offer services to support and empower women. They provide a range of support, including for mental health and this is delivered through 1-2-1 and group support.
- Anxiety UK offers support, advice and information on a range of anxiety and anxiety-based depression conditions. Call: 03444 775 774. Lines are open Mon-Fri 9:30am - 5.30pm.
- Have a look at the useful links page on the UCLan website for further information on support available.