Student wellbeing: Top 7 places to seek help in times of need

As a postgraduate student there are times when you will need a bit of support, be it academically or emotionally – and it’s good to know that there are plenty of people looking out for your wellbeing – and not just on a academic level. So, if you are experiencing a crisis in your life maybe the illness of a family member or a relationship break up, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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It seems that nowadays postgraduate students are experiencing more mental health problems than the previous generations, and this trend seems to be on the rise at many universities. However, in half of the cases students are afraid to search for help because they fear discrimination in their educational surroundings and professional employment. This jeopardizes their academic achievement and reduces the quality of the university experience. Emotional wellbeing of postgraduate students

If you are a postgraduate student in the UK experiencing any kind of emotional problems but don't know what to do, or if you are planning to come to the UK to pursue a postgraduate course, here’s an overview of the student wellbeing support system that is in place at universities:

1.    Postgraduate Tutors

If you are experiencing any problems, your postgraduate tutor is usually the first person to ask for advice. The tutor may help you to think clearly about the possible solutions to your problems or may direct you to some more qualified person who will be able to help you.

2.    Student Welfare Officers

Most universities have their student welfare officers who can help you with personal problems or guide you on where to seek further help within the university. Find out more about the role of student welfare officers.

Student wellbeing relaxed happy woman 3.    Research Supervisor

Although it may seem unusual to talk to your supervisor about your personal problems, many supervisors are willing to help and make your studies a more pleasant experience. If you are in a good and friendly relationship with your supervisor he/she may be the person to talk to.

4.    University Counselling Service

Most universities have their counselling services to help postgraduate students with any problems associated with psychological and emotional well-being. Counsellors can usually help you with more severe mental health problems than postgraduate tutors or student welfare officers, so if you feel that you are close to the edge the best option may be to contact your university’s counselling service. The heads of the various student counselling services in UK universities have established a web page that can help you find available counselling options at your university.

5.    Charity Organisations Dedicated to Students’ Mental Health

In the UK, there are various charity organizations that provide university students with a support base in case of any problems with psychological well-being. One such charity is the University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN). Their web page offers valuable information on what to do when experiencing mental health difficulties.

6.    Self-help

Not all of you may want to share your personal well-being problems with someone else. Fortunately, there are many resources that you can use on your own to make your problems less severe.

First of all, many students who have experienced psychological problems write their own blogs, and maybe you can use some of their experience to enhance your own well-being. 

Further, web pages of many university counselling services have information on how to overcome specific mental health problems - so check what is avaiable at your own institution.

7.    What else to do?

The Royal College of Psychiatrists reports that peer contacts, religious affiliation, or establishing a social network seem to minimize the risk for psychological well-being associated problems. Therefore, when you come to a UK university for a postgraduate course, make sure that you join some university societies that you like, establish a group of friends, and spend enough time on leisure activities. If you are an international student, the easiest way for you to find friends may be to join the society of students from your country. Also, if you feel lonely during the holidays you can spend a few days with a British family, which is the initiative started by the HOST UK.

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