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Mental health

timetochange1 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.

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 healthy, you may experience a mental health condition as a student. These should not be taboo conditions, but talked about and understood.

Key university services which provide support and information for Mental Health conditions include the University Counselling Service who have a series of self-help and information leaflets on a range of different issues relating to mental health and the Disabilities Resource Centre.

Your GP may also be able to provide information, support and advice. as well as your college nurse.

Other sources of information and advice include:

Students Against Depression Students Against Depression offers information and resources validated by health professionals alongside tips and advise from students who have experienced it all themselves.

Student Minds is the UK's student mental health charity. The charity believe that peer interventions can change the state of student mental health. They empower students and members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support others and create change.

SANE 0300 304 7000 (every day of the year from 4:30pm - 10:30pm)

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 0300 123 3393 (Mon to Fri: 9.00am - 6.00pm (except bank holidays)) / Text: 86463 / Email: info@mind.org

Mind Infoline is able to provide information on a range of topics including types of mental distress, where to get help, drug and alternative treatments and advocacy. They are able to provide details of help and support for people in their own area.

Rethink (Mental Illness) 0300 5000 927 (Mon - Fri: 9:30am - 4pm (except bank holidays)

The Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service offers practical help on issues such as the Mental Health Act, community care, welfare benefits, debt, criminal justice and carers rights. They also offer general help on living with mental illness, medication, care and treatment. Rethink Mental Illness does not provide crisis support.

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) - 0800 58 58 58 (365 days a year 5pm - midnight) / webchat also available during opening hours

Calm is for men in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.

Samaritans - 116 123 (Free, 24 hours a day, every day of the year)

Cambridge Samaritans - 4 Emmanuel Road, Cambridge, CB1 1JW / / 01223 364455 (local call charges may apply) Usual hours open to receive callers at the door - 10:30am - 10:00pm / Email: jo@samaritans.org

Samaritans provides confidential emotional support 24 hours a day by telephone, personal visit, email, and letter, through its branch network.

NHS Mental Health Services in Cambridge

First Response Service (FRS) - Ring 111 (option 2) if you are in a mental health crisis

The First Response Service supports people experiencing a mental health crisis. The First Response Service provides 24-hour access,seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice, support and treatment. By calling 111, and selecting option 2, you will be put through to a member of the FRS who will speak to you and discuss your current mental health needs. For further information please see the FRS leaflet

The Psychological Wellbeing Service - 0300 300 0055 (Mon - Fri 9am -5pm (except Bank Holidays))

This service is set up to help those aged 17 and over who are suffering from mild to moderate depression and anxiety disorders including generalised anxiety, social anxiety, post traumatic stress, health anxiety, panic, phobia or obsessive compulsive disorder. All of the talking therapies offered as part of our Psychological Wellbeing Service work by helping you understand what is happening to you, help you to work through your difficult feelings and learn new ways of coping in order to improve your wellbeing.

The CPFT Psychological Wellbeing Service is not an urgent service and is unable to respond to emergencies. It offers short-term treatments with a focus on 'here and now' problems.

You are able to self refer to The Psychological Wellbeing Service - via the online form, phone or email.

Cameo - 01223 341500 (option 4) Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm / cameosouth@cpft.nhs

Cameo is a service for people aged 14 - 65 years old who are experiencing symptoms of psychosis for the first time. There is evidence to show that recognising and treating psychotic experiences early leads to better outcomes and an improved chance of recovery.

You are able to self refer to Cameo. The quickest way is to give them a call - you can leave a message on the answer phone outside of office hours and they will call you back. You can also get in touch via email.