Not everyone has a mental health problem, but everyone has mental health. It is important to remember that this is as vital to maintain as our physical health. As psychology students, we learn about mental health almost daily but we can easily forget to look after our own. As it can be difficult to look after your mental health at times, there are many services available at university to help you so that you can have a happy and successful time at King’s. Specifically we have two programmes in place on the BSc Psychology – The buddy system and mindfulness courses.
The Buddy Scheme
While university can be a really exciting experience, the transition into university can be challenging.
Every first year student is assigned two current students (comprised of both second and third year students), who will be on hand to answer questions and be a friendly face to welcome you into the BSc Psychology community. You get to meet them during welcome week, along with the other first years who are part of your buddy group. This means you’ll definitely have at least five people to talk to on your first day of lectures.
Knowing people from the year above can be helpful as they will have been in your position and can give you advice with the benefit of hindsight. For example, when choosing modules you can ask your buddies how they decided on the modules that they picked and how they found them. The buddy system is just one thing that has been put in place to help make your time at university as stress free and rewarding as possible.
Dr. Nicola Byrom, who will be lecturing you in September, helped set up the buddy scheme. Here’s a little message from her about the programme: “I’m a tutor for student wellbeing and the founding trustee of the student mental health charity, Student Minds. You might guess, I’m really passionate about student wellbeing. For more ideas and advice on preparing for the transition to university, check out www.studentminds.org.uk/starting-university.”
We also have a six-week mindfulness course that is run specifically for psychology students by other students who have been trained by Student Mind’s. This course is underpinned by the science of emotional, psychological and social well-being and is packed full of positive psychology life hacks. The course aims to help you be happier, less stressed, more motivated, better organised and build better relationships. Every week there is a new theme to help you cope with the workload, newfound academic stress and your relationships. A student who took part in the course this year felt that “it was the most empowering thing I have ever experienced.”
As with the other courses at King’s, everyone is assigned a personal tutor who will be with you throughout your university life. This is your first point of contact for all academic and non-academic needs. You can contact them at any point throughout the year if you are worried about anything or want any guidance or support. Your personal tutor can also point you in the direction of one of the many services at King’s such as the Money Advice Service.
Finally, some of our favourite people are the course administrators because they are so helpful and friendly and are always available via email or in their office. They are a wealth of wisdom and you’ll meet them in Welcome week!
It’s getting close to exam time, we wish you the very best of luck! We can’t wait to meet you at in September!
Pauline and Val