World Mental Health Day – Sunday 10 October

Mental health includes our emotions and our psychological and social wellbeing. It can affect how we think, feel, behave, and determines how we handle stress, make decisions or approach relationships. We all have mental health and we can all experience challenges with our mental health at different times in our lives.

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is Mental Health in an Unequal World. Because whilst absolutely anyone can suffer from a mental health problem, access to mental health support is not equally available and can be affected by where we live or who we are.

One thing we can all do to support those around us is to start to talk about mental health. The NHS has come up with some tips to help:

Top things you can do to help others

Express concern and say you can help

Letting someone know you’re worried is a good way to open up a conversation – it shows you care about the person, have time for them and that they do not have to avoid things with you.

Act as you usually do together

Do what you usually do – behaving differently can make someone feel more isolated. Do not be afraid to offer kind words and a space to talk, whether by phone, messaging or in person.

Reassure them

The first time someone mentions their worries is a big step. It’s good to recognise this and reassure them. Let them know you’re there to listen when they need to talk.

Offer your time to listen

Listening is an important skill. Ask open questions that start with “how”, “what”, “where” or “when”. This can help people open up.

Be patient

You will not always know the full story. There may be reasons why they have found it difficult to ask for help. Just being there can be helpful for someone who may want to open up later.

If they do not want support

Gently explore their reasons for not wanting to get support. If they are unsure whether to get help, just talking and listening without judgement could help work out what’s getting in the way.

Do not force it

Do not force someone to talk to you or get help, and do not go to a doctor on their behalf. This may lead to them feeling uncomfortable, with less power and less able to speak for themselves.

Look after yourself

It can be upsetting to hear someone you care about in distress. Be kind to yourself and take some time to relax or do something you enjoy.

Offer practical help

Little acts of kindness – like offering to do the shopping or to go to professional appointments with them – can help. Find out what works for them.

 

Wellbeing support at the University

Everyone recognises that the last 18 months have been very hard and has affected us all differently. As you start your studies you may feel that you struggle to get started or settle in and that’s perfectly normal. There are many resources available to help, and we’ve taken time and feedback from students to recommend some that can be found online here – http://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/support/wellbeing/

But just to highlight a few in particular:

There is a lot you can do to help manage your own mental health – https://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/support/wellbeing/self-help/

It’s also important to call out those who negatively affect our mental health – https://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/support/wellbeing/report-unacceptable-behaviour/

PROJECT:TALK is running a Mental Fitness Fair in the Anson Rooms (11-2 pm on 23 October) and they also offer one to one peer support if you can’t attend the fair – https://www.projecttalk.org.uk/bristol-peer-support

Student Minds also has a lot of resources available for mental wellbeing.

If you or a friend are facing a mental health emergency, there is always help available here – http://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/support/wellbeing/emergency-help/

Finally, don’t forget to celebrate the reasons you are at university, reflect on your individual journey and recognise that getting to where you are now is a huge achievement!

Wellbeing workshops

October

How to Thrive at University (Sessions on 14th October and 29th October)

Designed to help you hopefully improve a variety of areas. The sessions will cover:

  • Basic Anxiety Management (breathing exercise + when to use it).
  • Basic managing procrastination
  • Time Management
  • Finding balance with Work/life
  • Breathing exercise to help improve general wellbeing

 

How to Improve Self-Esteem (Session on 20th October)

This workshop will help you to understand how self-esteem is formed and how it can impact on behaviour. We will help you to develop techniques to help you improve and maintain self-esteem

 

Managing Perfectionism (Sessions on 13th October & 28th October)

This 1-hour interactive workshop will cover:

  • What is Perfectionism?
  • How and when it becomes a problem
  • Healthy Striving as an alternative
  • Understanding and challenging our thought processes
  • Sharing ideas and strategies to achieve a balanced outcome

 

Relaxation (Session on 26th October)

This workshop will teach you the importance of Relaxation, and provide you with techniques to aid your studies and help manage anxiety.

 

November (not yet bookable):

Managing and Maintaining Mental Health

This workshop is for students who have had a recent diagnosis of a mental health condition, or who experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, or panic with some regularity. It is designed to help you learn how to manage your unique mental health condition so that you can live a healthy life without your condition becoming a barrier. The workshop is designed to help you with:

  • Understanding the illness, you have
  • Understanding YOUR illness
  • Getting to know yourself
  • Your Safety Nets
  • Reviewing and Changing as you grow 

 

Managing Exam Stress

This workshop will examine typical responses to exam stress and identify and explore coping techniques to help manage challenging feelings. It will also explore the concept of stress, how we can effectively recognise our optimal performance level and how to practice self-care throughout an exam period.

 

 

PROJECT:TALK Bristol – connecting our community in the COVID-19 pandemic

PROJECT:TALK Bristol have a mission to change the way Bristol views mental health by pioneering mental fitness. Below, members of the team tell their story of setting up PROJECT:TALK and their work to support students at Bristol during the pandemic.

PROJECT:TALK logo and committee members

George, PROJECT:TALK CIC’s co-founder and Bristol Society’s current co-president, explains how it all started

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A Mental Marathon

This post was written by the Founder and Director of PROJECT:TALK CIC, George Cole. George is also a fourth year medical student at University of Bristol. 

Right, stop what you’re doing. Now, get up and run. No, don’t complain, just do it! You haven’t got a choice. Keep running until you’re told to stop.

Oh, and whilst you’re running, make sure you don’t let anything slip, ok? What do you mean you can’t carry on doing your day job as effectively as usual! Find a way! Pathetic.

If this seems a bit of an obscure and unpleasant situation to you, then you’re not alone. You could think of the COVID-19 pandemic a little like this – being plunged into uncertainty, no choice in the matter, completely unprepared and unfamiliar. A mental marathon.

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Digital learning resources available for you!

Although this is a difficult time for everyone, we are here to ease the transition to online learning and provide you with all the technical support and advice you need.   

There are plenty of useful online resources available to you.  

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24/7 wellbeing services available for those in need of support

In these strange and uncertain times, it’s understandable that many of you will be feeling anxious, sad or even a little bit scared, which can be tough to say out loud. Don’t forget that there are many support services out there for you, with some offering a listening ear 24/7. 

TalkCampus 

TalkCampus is here if you need someone to talk to, about anything, anywhere, at anytime. The app enables you to message fellow students from all over the world, day and night. You can share your worries and thoughts with those going through the exact same struggles as you. 

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Tis the season to…take a break.

Festive greetings from Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President and the University Management Team.

The holiday season is almost upon us. Although the University closes for Christmas on 21 December, you can still access some of our facilities over the break. Take a look at the services and support available over the holidays.

Merry Bristmas!

Bristol SU Living Room

If you’re staying in Bristol during the holidays, there’s still plenty going on including seasonal activities at the newly launched Bristol SU Living Room taking place from 17 – 20 December. You can also hear more about events taking place in the local area while the University is closed and meet other students who might be staying in Bristol during this time.

Don’t forget to join the UoB Staying in Bristol at Christmas Facebook page. All students are welcome to join and you can find out more about other events such as the Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and a Boxing Day Tour around the historic listed Goldney Gardens and Grotto.

Relax and unwind

The holiday season is the perfect time to take a breather and unwind ahead of the New Year. You don’t need us to tell you about all the benefits of sport and activity; it’s well known how positive an effect it can have on your mental and physical wellbeing. For those staying in Bristol, the indoor sports centre will still be open part of the time together with the Students’ Health Service. You can find out about opening hours here.

Academic support

Ease the pressure of the January exam period by getting clued up on all the academic support and tools available to you on the Study Support pages. Brush up on your revision techniques and exam preparation with these online tutorials; Revision planning, Revision techniques, Exam papers & questions and Exams & Wellbeing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your studies, maybe take some time to reflect on what you think could help you when we reopen. Start a portfolio with Personal Development Planning (PDP) and jot down which areas you feel you could use some guidance on.

See all the Academic Support on offer for you through our Study Support pages.

Many of our services are still open while you’re away from your studies; even during the University closure dates we have study areas open and some of our services running. You can see the opening hours here.

Stay connected

We know that the festive season isn’t easy for everyone so if you want to talk to someone, you will be able to access support via our Residential Life Support Centre, open to all students for urgent issues, whether you live in Uni residences or not. There are also self-help tools to provide support, including Big White Wall.

While students are not officially back until 14 January, the University reopens on 3 January and we’ll be here for you if you have any questions.  You can contact your Personal Tutor, speak to our Information Point and use the libraries and study areas.

From all of us at the University of Bristol, we wish you a restful break. Happy Holidays!

#TisTheSeason 🌟

 

Tis the season to…get a little more.

To help you enjoy the break and take some time to look after yourself we’ve got Academic Support all wrapped up for you.

 

 

Before the break we have extra Academic Support on offer through our Faculty Study Skills workshops. These are running until 19 December – check out what’s still available.

Many of our services are still open while you’re away from your studies; even during the University closure dates we have study areas open and some of our services running. You can see the opening hours for these services online.

While students are not officially back until 14 January, the University reopens on 3 January and we’ll be here for you if you have any questions.  You can contact your Personal Tutor, speak to our Student Information Service and use the libraries and study areas.

While you’re away, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your studies, maybe take some time to reflect on what you think could help you when we reopen. Start a portfolio with Personal Development Planning (PDP) and jot down which areas you feel you could use some guidance on.

See what Academic Support is on offer for you through our Study Support pages.

Happy Holidays!

 

Tis the season to…stay connected

As the term comes to a close, some will be preparing to return home to friends and family, while others will be staying put for ‘Bristmas’ in the city.

Whatever you have planned for the festive period, be sure to make the most of your break by enjoying time with others and finding time to unwind.

Stay connected

Those spending the break in Bristol are invited to join in with a variety of festivities.

The newly launched Bristol SU Living Room on the fourth floor of Senate House is running lots of seasonal activities, including Christmas crafts, old school games and traditional nibbles to ease you into the holiday season. Look out for the daily Festive Mingle events from 17 – 20 December too.

This is a great opportunity to find out about events taking place in the local area while the University is closed and meet other students who might be staying in Bristol during this time.

All students staying in Bristol over Christmas are welcome to enjoy Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and take a Boxing Day Tour around the historic listed Goldney Gardens and Grotto. Join the UoB Staying in Bristol at Christmas Facebook page to stay in touch and keep posted on other festive events taking place during the holiday.

Relax

The holiday season is the perfect time to take a breather from the busyness of the first term, unwind and nurture your wellbeing ahead of the New Year.

For those staying in Bristol, please find out about our opening hours during the holidays including study spaces, the Students’ Health Service and the sports facilities.

If you want to talk to someone over the festive season, you will be able to access support via our Residential Life Support Centre, open to all students for urgent issues, whether you live in University residences or not.

There are also self-help tools to provide support, including Big White Wall.

Recap

After the festive break comes the January exam period. Ease the pressure by getting clued up on all the academic support and tools available to you on the Study Support pages.

For further academic support, we offer drop-ins, revision workshops, one to one sessions and tutorials.

#TisTheSeason

 

Tis the season to…celebrate community.

Watch some festive greetings from Eva Larkai, Chair of the BME Network and Aisha Rana-Deshmukh, President of Bollywood Dance Society.

How will you be spending your time over the holidays? #TisTheSeason

If you’re staying in Bristol, don’t forget to join the University Staying in Bristol Facebook Group listing events and activities taking place over the festive season.

You can also find out about our opening hours during the holidays including study spaces, the Students’ Health Service and the sports facilities. If you want to talk to someone over the festive season, you will be able to access support via our Residential Life Support Centre, open to all students for urgent issues, whether you live in Uni residences or not. There are also self-help tools to provide support, including Big White Wall.