Self-care and investing in yourself are crucial for academic success and personal development and we shouldn’t hesitate to give ourselves that ‘me time’. At the same time, an atmosphere of mutual support, respect and celebrating diversity are what make for a truly inclusive university campus where everyone can feel free to be themselves and belong.
Of course, there are actions we can take, both big and small ,to achieve this. This could be something as simple as smiling and saying hi to someone in the lecture theatre or bringing someone into a conversation if they are standing on their own before lectures to signing up to do some volunteer work. In time, you might even like to train as a KCL peer supporter to lend emotional support to fellow students.
Give to Others Challenge:
Have a read through the KCLSU societies and see if any of their charitable activities catch your eye
Ask one of your friends or flatmates how their days was and really listen
Is someone you live or study with having a difficult time adjusting to uni life? Take them for a walk or coffee with them and remind them of all the support on offer. Have a quick re-read now of our ‘Never Stop Learning’ post to jog your memory.
Get in touch with someone from home if you are living away to let them know you are thinking of them or send them a card
You’ll soon be seeing our In Your Corner mental health awareness campaign posters up around campus. Each month, a number of students, academic and professional service staff will let us know how they would be in their mate’s corner if they let them know they were struggling with their mental health.
Current KCLSU President Momin Saqib and former president Ben Hunt are supporting our ‘In Your Corner’ mental health awareness campaign to create a campus where we can all talk about mental health in an open and supportive way.
With approximately 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem each year (Mind), it really is nothing to feel ashamed of, so don’t be afraid to reach out for the help and support that you need. Equally, if you notice that your friend seems to be going through a rough patch, or acting differently, why not ask them if all is well? It doesn’t need to be a big, awkward conversation; it could just be as simple as going for coffee, asking if they’re ok and giving them the time and space to talk through what’s worrying them. If they don’t open up this time round, then they know your door is open.
There’s also no need to feel that by reaching out you’re suddenly responsible for solving all your friend’s problems. Make sure you’re armed with the knowledge of all of our KCL support services so that you can signpost towards professional help where needed so that you can just be there as a friend. If you want a quick recap, have a read of our ‘Never Stop Learning’ post.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to support a friend through mental health difficulties, do come along to one of our monthly ‘Look After Your Mate’ workshops. With an emphasis on listening and supporting within your capacity as a friend and taking care of yourself at the same time, you will leave with an awareness of how to offer a helping hand without compromising your own self-care and wellbeing. It’s that old adage isn’t it? We need to put on your own oxygen masks before helping anyone else with theirs 🙂