Tag Archive for: student

Join us for #UniMentalHealthDay2024: Let’s get talking about student mental health

Organised by Student Minds and the University Mental Health Advisory Network (UMHAN), #UniMentalHealthDay takes place on Thursday 14 March 2024. 

At the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and as part of our Mind Matters Initiative (MMI), we are committed to supporting all members of the veterinary community to thrive in their roles and to get the support they need. Students are the future of the veterinary professions, so working to help protect and support their mental health is a key part of what we do. 

“We are pleased to have undertaken a range of student focused activity recently, including; fully funding a MHFA Champion course for the Association of Veterinary Students, delivering university presentations and mental health training sessions, and supporting researchers at Leeds Beckett University to undertake a deep dive into mental health education for student veterinary nurses through our Sarah Brown Mental Health Research grant.” – Angharad Belcher, Director of the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative 

Student Mental Health Challenges  

Did you know that one in four students have a diagnosed mental health condition, and one in three students have poor mental wellbeing? (Student Minds, 2023) 

Moving away from home for the first time, undertaking exams and placements, navigating the cost-of-living crisis, and adapting to changing personal and professional relationships, can cause challenges for students.  

“#UniMentalHealthDay provides a positive platform to highlight the importance of student mental health in enabling students to thrive on their journey, and in particular signposting appropriate support that’s available, whether they need it right now or in the future. Within this blog, we have collated a range of useful information and support that’s available to students, including how to have a conversation about mental health, seeking help and supporting others.” – Dr Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS Director of Education 

How to know when you may need support? 

It’s important to think about signs that may indicate that your mental wellbeing may be slipping, so that you can take steps to boost it.  Student Minds have a range of useful resources and questions that you might find helpful to ask yourself. 

Seeking Help  

Recent research by Student Minds (2023) found that one in four students would not know where to get mental health support at their university.  

Whilst talking about your mental health may seem daunting at times, there are many sources of free and accessible support out there for students, including services at universities, the NHS, Student Minds, Vetlife, Samaritans and many more. Check out the useful links and support section at the end of this blog. 

“I think being aware of the avenues for support before you feel you need them is paramount for maintaining good mental health at university. No one expects to have poor mental health so, knowing where you can reach out for help beforehand, such as BVNA’s Members Advisory Service, Vetlife, Samaritans, as well as facilities at your university, makes getting support a lot easier.  University is a great opportunity to practise getting a good work-life balance, so take part in self-enriching activities outside of your studies and look after yourself. As veterinary professionals, our work’s purpose is to care for others and, while learning how to take care of yourself is rewarding in its own right, it is also necessary for longevity in your career.” – Bronwyn Bailey SVN, British Veterinary Nursing Association Council (BVNA), & MMI Taskforce Member 

Starting a Conversation & Supporting Others 

If you are not quite sure how to start a conversation around mental health, Student Minds have provided a useful guide and Mind also have accessible resources. 

There is also a wide variety of training available that may support you to help others including the MHFA Champion and MHFA First Aid courses, and Student Minds’ own ‘Look after your Mate’ course.  

Useful Links and Support 

Student Minds have a great downloadable resource pack that you can use to promote #UniMentalHealthDay. You can download the pack by visiting the University Mental Health Day website

If you need help or support right now, there are a range of organisations out there to help you. 

General support: 

  • Contact your Local GP or call NHS 111 (England & Wales), or NHS 24 (Scotland on 08454 242424). 
  • Student Minds is the UK’s national charity for student mental health and since 2009, they have been championing the cause. Their vision: ‘No student should be held back by their mental health’. For more information, visit the Student Minds website. Student Minds also have a range of useful resources for LGBTQ+ students 
  • Student Space, run by Student Minds, also offers an accessible source of help and guidance, which includes what support may be available at your own University. For more information, visit the Student Space website.  
  • MIND have a specific section on student 
  • Vetlife have a bespoke page for students which you can access by visiting their website. You can also call their Helpline for free on 0303 040 2551. 
  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. It provides a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. You can also call them free on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. Text Shout to 85258 

University specific support: