Mental Health Awareness: A Reminder Of The Support Available To You By Luka Dehnbostel

The changes that come with going to university can be frightening, especially given that the move is often young people’s first time living alone and far away from family. Especially now, with the pandemic still ongoing, the uncertainty that comes with it, and the lack of a familiar support network, your mental health can suffer tremendously. So here is an overview of the support available to you through the university.

The places you can go for support include the MySurrey Website which has health and wellbeing advice available to students, including a large help section to advise you through problems. Another place to go is the university’s health centre, located on Stag Hill campus, which offers support on many different issues across physical and mental wellbeing, as well as many of the services offered by NHS surgeries. Then there is the Centre of Wellbeing, located near to the DK building en route to town. It offers services such as mental health support and advice, help with eating disorders, stress management guidance, workshops, counselling and specialised initiatives and events.

Chaplains from all faiths and beliefs offer confidential, discreet and non-judgemental one-to-one pastoral care. You don’t have to be religious or spiritual to use the faith and spirituality service.

Peer Support students are available to listen and help you reach your own solutions in a confidential space to talk. They are not counsellors but have had training to support you.

The Students’ Union Support Zone is there to assist students with a range of needs, queries and concerns, and can also point you in the right direction for additional support. They also run campaigns during the year on various topics including the Let’s Talk campaign which encourages students to talk about issues that matter most to them.

Nightline is a confidential, anonymous service that you can reach by phone or, if you don’t like phone calls, the online chat service on the Students’ Union website between 7pm to 7am during term time. You can contact them to talk about any problem at all, ask questions or get something off your chest. It is run by trained student volunteers to simply listen to you.

Services that are offered by partners of the university include:

Safe Haven, which is located on Walnut Tree Close, a few minutes’ walk from Stag Hill campus and Guildford town centre. It is open from 6pm-11pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and everyone is welcome at any time. They run daily drop-in sessions between 6pm-8pm for everyone and also provide a virtual crisis support service which goes from 6pm-11 pm.

Samaritans is open to anyone who would like to talk. They are available both for both face to face and telephone support, offering a space to talk through your problems in complete confidence. They are based in Guildford town centre, close to the Guildford Cricket Club from 12pm-9.30 pm, 7 days a week. You can call them on +44(0)1483505555, 116 123 (Freephone) or email them.

The university offers NHS talking therapy services for students, particularly for anxiety and/or low mood. You can refer yourself either by phone or online and though don’t need to go through a GP, you will need to be registered with a one in the area.

The University offers two NHS talking therapy services for students on campus. One in the Centre for Wellbeing on the Stag Hill campus on Fridays where you register online, stating that you are a University of Surrey student in the Where did you hear about us? box. The other can be found at Leggett Building in Manor Park on Mondays, where you also register online, stating that you are a University of Surrey student in the free text box.

Togetherall is a free, anonymous and non-judgemental platform that can help with a wide range of issues, from anxiety and depression, stress and trauma, to relationship problems and lifestyle challenges. There is 24/7 online peer and professional support with trained counsellors that help moderate to make sure it remains a safe and respectful environment. Overall, it provides a safe online space to get things off your chest, explore your feelings and learn how to improve your mental wellbeing. Just sign in with your university email, choose an anonymous username and you are ready to go.

Student Space is run by Student Minds, The UK’s student mental health charity. It was created to complement the existing student services, by researchers, services, professors and students. You can get help and guidance from a range of trusted tools, services and information. New information and services are added regularly to keep up with students' needs.

I hope that this guide can serve as a reminder of the wide range of support available to you here at the University of Surrey and beyond. If you are struggling, please know that you are never going to be alone in that. People are here to listen, and to help you make things better with the tools that fit you best.


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