HEALTH & WELLBEING
LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF & YOUR HOUSEMATES
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT SERVICES
We are going through difficult and unprecedented times at the moment as a result of the Covid pandemic. Students may have been affected in different ways, whether that is due to having to isolate, not being able to see friends, family or house/course mates, or the changes to lectures meaning they can't attend the University physically.
As well as students with pre-existing mental health difficulties, the drastic changes and challenges to our environment that we have all had to overcome may have had a negative effect on the mental health and wellbeing of those who have not previously had any mental health difficulties. Now more than ever, it is so important to stay connected with those around us, whether you are still living with housemates, or you keep in touch with friends/family by video calling.
If you're concerned about someone you know, or need help yourself, then you can access the mental health services remotely from your University, who are all continuing to offer this. Please see below for a link to your Universities wellbeing pages, which will have further details of how to get in touch:
University of Liverpool
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool Hope University
Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
An increasing number of students at University are experiencing mental health difficulties that impact not only on their academic work, but also on all other aspects of their University life. Mental health difficulties not only have implications for the student involved, but often also for those around them such as friends, colleagues, staff and family.
It is acknowledged that supporting someone who is experiencing issues with their mental health can be difficult and challenging, and that people should not feel alone in such situations. If in doubt, there are services that you can contact for guidance and support in confidence.
It is important to acknowledge that mental health difficulties can present themselves in a wide variety of ways, depending upon the individual and the circumstances. What perhaps is most important, is to consider if possible, how a person seems in relation to how they usually are. Changes in people's mood and personality can provide important indicators as to how they are feeling. Unusual mood swings or social withdrawal might, for example, provide some indication that the person is experiencing some degree of emotional distress.
Essentially, it is difficult to define what is 'normal', other than to use an individual's usual behaviour as a point of comparison. Clearly it is not always possible to make such comparisons when dealing with someone for the first time or with little prior knowledge of them. The following list might help you become alert to the presence of emotional distress - the list is not a diagnostic tool, but rather a collection of signs that might indicate that the person is experiencing some degree of mental health difficulty:
SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
* Erratic or unpredictable behaviour
* Agitation or overt anxiety
* Social withdrawal/avoidance of social interaction or contact
* Unexplained or prolonged crying
* Change or disturbance in eating/sleeping patterns
* Incoherent speech
* Physical ill-health
* Hearing voices
* Behaviour inappropriate to the social context
* Any verbalised thoughts of suicide/harm.
It is important to recognise that we all may experience one or more of these factors at given points in our lives, and that none of the above in isolation indicate a severe or enduring mental illness. The presence of these factors might suggest a need for greater concern or investigation.
Source: University of Liverpool, Counselling and Mental Health Services
HOW TO HELP
If you are concerned that someone you are supporting is showing any of the above signs, or if you need help yourself, then you can access mental health services from within your university. Support is confidential and you can get advice about a friend without necessarily giving the name of the person involved.
University of Liverpool Counselling and Mental Health Service and Student Welfare, Advice and Guidance
Liverpool John Moores University Health and Wellbeing
Liverpool Hope University Mental Health and Wellbeing
LIPA Student Support Services
SEXUAL VIOLENCE SUPPORT
RASA (Rape and Sexual Abuse Support) Merseyside is a professional counselling and support service that exists solely to improve the mental and physical well-being of individuals impacted by sexual violence at some point in their lives.
Healthwatch is an independent organisation, that helps people to access health and social care services in Liverpool. They have produced these leaflets with tips for staying healthy and contact information for organisations if you are struggling with your mental health.