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How to deal with depression at uni

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Uni is an exciting time, but it also brings lots of new challenges and pressures alongside it. From exams and coursework deadlines to finances and relationships, there is a huge amount to try and balance. Trying to get that balance can inevitably have an impact on your mental health.

Unfortunately, the number of suicides amongst students has risen dramatically over the past few years. However, if you need support, or if someone around you is struggling, there are support systems and help available. Below are just a few different things which you can try to improve your overall mental health.
 
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT involves meeting with a therapist to help you manage your condition, by changing the way you think and behave in different situations. It is an effective method for combatting anxiety and depression, in particular.
 
Open up to somebody you trust
Talking through your issues with a member of your family, a close friend, or even a doctor or teacher can also help. You may feel a weight lifted by opening up, and your confidant may also be able to offer advice and act as a support system when you are feeling low.
 
Look after your physical health
Exercise releases endorphins which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies show that exercise can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also increases self-confidence and decreases stress levels, all of which have a knock-on effect on your mental health.
 
Contact these charities

Mind: 0300 123 3393
Mind provides support to those suffering from mental health issues, and those supporting somebody struggling with their mental health. The are 135 local Minds across England and Wales, who support communities in whatever way is needed.

Nightline
Nightline is a confidential listening and support service for students, run by students. They are available from 18:00 until 08:00 throughout term-time, and you can contact them by phone, Skype, live chat, email or text – whichever you feel most comfortable with.

Samaritans: 116 123
Samaritans have over 20,000 volunteers based in 201 branches, and offer a 24-hour helpline. They reach out to high-risk groups, and work in partnership with organisations, including universities.

Students Against Depression
Students against Depression recognises that depression is one of the biggest dangers facing young people today, and suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35. It works as a website offering advice and guidance for those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. It also has lots of personal experiences, and coping strategies from other students.

If you know somebody struggling with their mental health, the best thing you can do is offer your support. Let them know they are not alone, and be there in any way you can. It is, however, important that you recommend professional help. They may feel better after speaking to you, but the impact may be short-term. Professional help might be more effective in providing a long-term solution for their situation. If they are in immediate danger, call 999, and do not leave them alone.

‘Suicide doesn't end the chances of life getting worse. It eliminates the possibility of it ever getting any better.’

For more advice from students, join the student community at Campus Society.