1 in 4 people experience a mental health condition at some time during their lives. All these figures are based on people who have sought help for their mental health problems. Many more could be living with undiagnosed mental health issues, according to mental health charity MIND.
'Mental health conditions' covers a whole range of different conditions and issues. Although these are often grouped and labelled, mental health conditions are often more complex, individual, and changing.
Common conditions that are experienced by students, broadly categorised, include depression (difficult to define, but generally characterized by a very low mood for a long time), anxiety (which can manifest itself in many forms, from constant, low level anxiety to frequent panic attacks), self-harm, bipolar disorder, manic depression and eating disorders.
Much more information about individual conditions, and advice and support, can be found on the Mind website.
Regular exercise, plenty of sleep, and healthy food not only keep your body but also your mind healthy. Make sure that you always take breaks when working and that you allow time for socialising and relaxation, without letting work take over your life too much.
Even if you take good care of yourself and keep fit and health, you may experience a mental health condition as a student. These should not be taboo conditions, but talked about and understood.
Other sources of information and advice include:
- SANE runs a national, out-of-hours helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers.
- Mind infoline provides information on treatments and advocacy and details of help and support in your local area
- The University Counselling Service has a series of self-help and information leaflets on a range of different issues relating to mental health.
- Your GP may also be able to provide information, support and advice.