Hey NTU! My name is Laura, I’m one of the support officers on the Tomorrow Project Crisis Pathway. I wanted to write a blog post about students’ mental health, and our suicide crisis text service.
University is often referred to as being the “best time of your life”. You might have heard that you’ll make friends for life, you’ll learn so many new things, and that you’ll love every second of it.
But university comes with huge challenges, that can really impact on students’ mental health. The educational expectations are so much higher than sixth form, adapting to independent learning can be difficult, and the task of making new friends can feel overwhelming. Financial difficulties with student loans can feel incredibly stressful, and navigating independent life of cooking, bills, and self-care can feel very busy and overwhelming.
But being a student in 2020 comes with extra challenges on top of all of those. Having to spend all of your time in such a small space with your flatmates might be difficult, having to adapt to online learning can make your course feel really overwhelming, and the lack of job opportunities might make finances even more stretched.
Isolation and loneliness is often a huge problem to students. Even without COVID-19, not ‘clicking’ with flatmates or coursemates, or not finding any societies that you feel that you fit into, can make you feel alone. Moving away from friends and family (especially if it’s your first time living away from home) can be incredibly isolating, as can living at home, commuting to university, and feeling completely separated from the university environment.
But with COVID-19 on top of all that, isolation can really affect students’ mental health. There’s even less face-to-face support from your lecturers, you’re not able to visit your support systems at home, and there is more of a separation from societies, coursemates, churches, sports teams, and all the other community aspects of university. Isolation is a risk-factor to suicide, which is why I am writing to you all today to tell you about the support that we give to people in Nottingham.
If you are feeling suicidal, please be reassured that there is local support here for you, regardless of the pandemic.
The Tomorrow Project are a user-led suicide prevention organisation. We are part of Harmless, and we provide emotional and practical support to people of all ages in suicide crisis. We have recently launched a suicide crisis text service, which is open to anyone in Nottingham City or County to use, regardless of whether they already access our services. This text service provides a listening ear, emotional and practical support, and signposting and referrals if necessary to those in suicide crisis.
Our text service is open on Mondays and Fridays 1pm-4pm, and Wednesdays 3pm-7pm. You can start the conversation by texting the word ‘HOPE’ (adults) or ‘LISTEN’ (under 18s) to 0780 000 2606.
Help is only a text away. We are here, we have been open throughout the pandemic, and we will continue to support those who need us despite COVID-19.
For help and advice whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
Support from NTU
Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
Struggling at Uni? Go to Student Minds
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