9 October 2020
At ARU, mental health is just as important as physical health. I have received excellent support from ARU during tough times and wanted to highlight some of the support services that are available to you as a student.
It is hard, often we think we can handle it but sometimes we all need help and that is OK too. Here at ARU, there is plenty of support and students' wellbeing is taken great care of.
The Counselling and Wellbeing service offers confidential support with a fully qualified counsellor/mental health adviser. They also offer a daily drop-in service. Due to Covid-19, these sessions are currently via telephone or zoom and pre-booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The service is great. I have always tried to brush things under the carpet, so I used to not reply to emails just because I thought talking about it made me even more anxious. But the wellbeing advisers really understand how we feel. They always checked up on me which made me feel that they genuinely want to help.
There is a team of wellbeing peer mentors set up working Monday–Friday evenings from the Students' Union lounge between 5–10pm.
The aim of the wellbeing peers is to focus on students in halls, and on speaking to all students to get ideas for events and activities. They'll then set up evening activities for all students to be able to relax, socialise, meet new students and de-stress from course work or other pressures.
As I am a Residential Assistant (RA) for the Residential Services Team in ARU, I work closely with peer mentors when I am duty. They go around the halls with RAs on shift, spending an hour completing a patrol and accessing communal areas and kitchens to promote events, or get ideas for other activities that students would like to happen.
I have seen so many students getting involved in so many fun activities, such as yoga. I've also joined few sessions and also, on my regular RA duties, going around making new friends and socialising helped me a lot to gain confidence and take my mind off things.
One of the best things about the Students' Union in my opinion is that there is always something related to mental health. From pebble painting to relax and be creative, to DIY herb planting, to colouring and so many other activities relating to wellbeing. The SU lounge and the wellbeing events used to be the highlight of my week; I have met so many new people during the events which made me confident and more social.
What surprises me is even during lockdown there have been so many online wellbeing chats, yoga sessions and so much support from ARU. As a person who suffers from mental health issues, it has been difficult, but I cannot imagine myself being who I am and where I am right now without the personalised support I have received from ARU.
To current and potential students: remember, please do not hesitate to seek help if you need it. There is so much support and guidance at ARU.
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but it shows that you are trying, and that you are strong.