Mental Health Month | A Student Story
In my 3rd year, I started to notice a change in myself, and how I was avoiding socialising and leaving the house. It then started to affect my studies and my work, I couldn’t bring myself to go to lectures, I didn’t want to leave my room when my housemates where in, and I avoided speaking to people I knew when I had to leave the house. I became scared of phone calls, letters, texts, emails and I was terrified of people’s perceptions of me. This then started a downward spiral.
I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety over the Christmas break in 2017. This was after speaking to my Course Leader and my Final year project supervisor, who urged me to seek some help. I contacted my Course Leader again to update him, he then signposted me to the Enabling Centre, (now called The Access Ability Centre). I attended one of their well-being appointments, where they helped me to apply for Disabled Students Allowance, they also helped me with an LSA, but they also signposted me to the Student Guidance team to follow up my extenuating circumstances and my options for the rest of the academic year.
The Student Guidance team helped me way up all my options and made me feel comfortable in what in what I was doing, they made sure I had all the facts and reassured me that I wasn’t the only person going through this. To be honest, that could be said for any person I met during this low point of my time in 3rd year.
Not long after I had finally sorted everything with my extenuating circumstances and my medication had started to work, I decided to run in the leadership race. Mainly because of my journey through the support services we use and my time working within the union. It was the best decision I made, it really boosted my confidence, it forced me to talk to people I didn’t know, and I made some great friends including my now co-workers. It was an exciting 3 days of support from other candidates and a good laugh. Everyone was honest with each other and opened up about their reasons for running, it was also the first time I opened up to other people about my mental and realised I wasn’t alone. Even to this day and every day afterwards, I know I won’t be alone, I will always have someone or a support service I can go to.