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Mental Health and Wellbeing

What is mental health and wellbeing?

Everyone has mental health. Our mental health affects how we think and feel and how well we cope with everyday life. Your university experience should be exciting and enjoyable but it's not unusual for students to encounter various forms of stress during their studies. This stress can range from personal to educational, and while most students are generally able to cope, for some, these experiences can become overwhelming and unmanageable.

There are different types of mental health problems including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, stress and bipolar disorder. The majority of people who experience a mental health problem do recover and there is support available to help you.

I think I need help

It can take a great deal of courage to tell someone that you are worried about your mental health and to face the difficulties you have been struggling with. It is not a failure or weakness but a positive step towards making changes or finding different ways of coping. Sometimes we do not have the skills, strategies and awareness which enable us to deal with difficult situations. There is no fault, weakness, or failure on your part in this case. Asking for support can help you to learn a different skill set, acquire greater awareness or simply talk things through which may add a better perspective, enabling you to move forward.

Be Supported

Are you in a crisis and need urgent help?

  • If you are in immediate danger or are seriously injured, call 999.
  • If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and are unable to keep yourself safe you can go to Roseberry Park Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, or call them on 01642 837300. This service is available 24/7.
  • Go to Student and Library Services, 1st Floor, Student Centre Building between 9.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday and a counsellor or mental health adviser will be available to see any student who is in crisis.
  • If you can, find a place where you feel safe. If this isn't possible you can:
    • call Campus Security on 01642 342086 or go to their office on the ground floor in the Library Building. They can offer you a physical or CCTV escort across campus if you are feeling vulnerable and you can report any issues to them directly.
    • go to a Safe Space if you are in Middlesbrough. Safe Spaces is a service for students where they can seek help and refuge if needed. Businesses that take part in this scheme can be easily identified by the yellow Safe Spaces stickers in their windows. This service is for students who feel threatened or vulnerable and they can expect to be given somewhere to sit for a short period of time, first aid (if needed) and a taxi can be rung for them. Current Safe Spaces in Middlesbrough.
    • Go to the Students' Union. All venue staff are either SIA Door Supervisor qualified or working towards their qualification.

I’m feeling overwhelmed and struggling to cope but don’t need urgent help

When you are anxious you might feel stuck and unsure of how to feel better. You might even do things that unwittingly fuel your anxiety. Follow these simple steps to help you cope with your anxiety right here, right now:
  1. Take a deep breath
    Remember the 7/11 rule.
    Try slowly inhaling to a count of 7 then exhaling to a count of 11.
    Repeat.
  2. Accept that you’re anxious
    Remember anxiety is just a feeling, like any other feeling. By reminding yourself that anxiety is simply an emotional reaction you can start to accept it.
  3. Question your thoughts
    When people are anxious their brain comes up with ideas that are often unrealistic and unlikely to occur, which can fuel the anxiety. Try by asking yourself these questions when challenging your thoughts:
    • Is this worry realistic?
    • Is this really likely to happen?
    • If the worst possible outcome happens, what would be so bad about that?
    • How have I/others managed this before?
    • What I might do?
    • How could I prepare for this?
  4. Use a calming visualisation
    Picture yourself somewhere that brings up a positive feeling, such as on holiday. Try to visualise using all of your senses; how did you feel, what could you smell, what could you see, what could you touch and what sounds could you hear?
  5. Use positive self-talk
    Anxiety can produce a lot of negative chatter. Instead of thinking 'I can't cope', try thinking 'I can tell I'm feeling anxious because…but this won’t last forever and I have plenty of strategies I can use to manage it.'
    Repeat.
  6. Focus on right now and take control
    When people are anxious they are usually thinking and worrying about something that may happen in the future. Instead, pause, breathe and pay attention to what’s happening right now. Ask yourself what you would be doing if you weren't feeling anxious today. If you were going to go to the gym, still go. If you planned to meet a friend, still go.

Get advice

  • From a friend. Talking to someone you trust about what you have experienced can sometimes help.
  • From Student and Library Services. You can talk to a student adviser in confidence and discuss the options available to you and how to access further support. Go to the first floor of the Student Centre Building and ask to see a student adviser through our drop-in service which is available between 9.30am - 4.00pm, Monday to Friday. Or you can call 01642 342277 to book an appointment with a student adviser at the drop-in.
  • From a counsellor. Your first step towards counselling is to book an appointment by calling 01642 342277 or going into Student and Library Services in the Student Centre Building. The counselling service can help students to find resolutions to their issues and assist and help students to develop key lifelong skills to deal with personal issues. The service offers both personal counselling and online self-help therapeutic programmes.
  • From a mental health adviser. Our dedicated advisers support students with autistic spectrum conditions and/or mental health conditions in a range of ways including providing advice and support to address your concerns or anxieties and supporting you to settle into the academic and social demands of University life. You can book an appointment with a mental health adviser by ringing 01642 342277 or by calling into Student and Library Services in the Student Centre Bulding.

How can I help someone who is experiencing a mental health problem?

When someone is struggling or finding it difficult to cope they will often speak to someone they can trust. You might not be able to solve their problems but by listening and supporting your friend you can help.

Be Supportive

Are they in a crisis and need urgent help?

  • If your friend is in immediate danger or is seriously injured, call 999.
  • If your friend is experiencing suicidal thoughts or you think they may harm themselves you can go to Roseberry Park Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, or call them on 01642 837300. This service is available 24/7.
  • Go to Student and Library Services in the Student Centre Building between 9.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, a counsellor or mental health adviser will be available to see any student who is in crisis.
  • Find a safe place. If this isn’t possible you can:
    • call Campus Security on 01642 342086 or go to their office on the ground floor of the Library Building. They can offer you a physical or CCTV escort across campus if you are feeling vulnerable and you can report any issues to them directly.
    • find a Safe Space if they are in Middlesbrough.Safe Spaces is a service for students where they can seek help and refuge if needed. Businesses that take part in this scheme can be easily identified by the yellow Safe Spaces stickers in their windows. This service is for students who feel threatened or vulnerable and they can expect to be given somewhere to sit for a short period of time, first aid (if needed) and a taxi can be rung for them. Current Safe Spaces in Middlesbrough.
    • go to the Students' Union. All venue staff are either SIA Door Supervisor qualified or working towards their qualification.
  • Get advice

  • Listening to your friend will help and show them that they are not alone.
  • From Student and Library Services. You can talk to a student adviser in confidence and discuss the options available to you and your friend and how to access further support. The adviser will also provide continuing support for any action that your friend may decide to take. Go to the first floor of the Student Centre Building and ask to see a student adviser through our drop-in service which is available between 9.30am - 4.00pm, Monday to Friday. Or you can call 01642 342277 to book an appointment with a student adviser at the drop-in.

Remember


When helping a friend through a difficult time, you need to make sure that you look after yourself. It can be worrying when a friend is upset or, if you have had a similar experience yourself, it can bring back difficult memories or feelings. If you want to talk about your feelings whilst respecting your friends' privacy please see the different support options.


Continuing Support


If you or someone you know is struggling or finding it difficult to cope then there are a range of support options available for students.

  • Student advisers. A student adviser will listen to your concerns in confidence, offer options and talk about the support available.
  • Counselling service. Our confidential counselling service can support you through any personal or academic difficulties and develop constructive ways forward.
  • Disability advisers. Our specialist staff can help you access support and resources to ensure you have a great experience at Teesside.
  • Your academic school. If you feel able to, you can talk to your personal tutor or lecturer.
  • Student and Library Services. The University offers a wide range of support and advice services to help you.
  • Teesside University Students' Union. The SU offer free and totally independent support with a number of academic and student support issues. The service is also a hate crime reporting centre and offers a mediation service for students who are experiencing difficulties with their housemates.


Other support


  • The NHS can give you information on a variety of health issues and access to a wide range of health related websites.
  • Mind is the leading mental health charity in the UK. It gives information in different languages on a number of emotional and psychological issues.
  • Samaritans is available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.
  • Beat provides information and help on all aspects of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and related eating disorders.
  • Muslim Youth Helpline is a faith support service targeted at vulnerable young people in the UK.
  • Cruse Bereavement offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.