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MDX students share their top tips for University Mental Health Day 2024

Join a society, prioritise self-care and recognise that setbacks are stepping stones – some of the advice from students on ways to support positive mental health

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Students from Middlesex University have shared their advice on what helps them with good mental health to mark University Mental Health Day 2024 on 14 March.  

The students were asked for their top tips as part of the initiative which aims to focus on student mental health, and to raise awareness of what is available at Middlesex University to support those who might be struggling.

Support teams at the University provide a range of interventions and advice  to help students continue with their studies and get the most out of their time at university. These include specialist advice and individual mental health and counselling sessions, as well as initiatives to reduce students’ costs such as free printing, free laptops on loan, and reduced gym membership.

“When there are so many pressures on students from financial worries to living away from home, it is important to support their wellbeing. This is why we provide a wealth of resources and support to students who feel stressed or anxious about an aspect of their university life – from apps and online guides, to healthy lifestyle advice, to group discussions and counselling sessions. No student is the same and so we aim to provide a range of options which our students can choose from.” Matthew Lawson, Director of Library and Student Support at Middlesex University.

Support for student mental health is especially important at a time when students face increasing financial worries which might affect their ability to continue with their studies.

Statistics from the Student Minds charity show that 72% of respondents to a survey said the cost of living affected their mental health, while one in four regularly went without food or necessities due to lack of affordability. Meanwhile a survey by The Sutton Trust charity found that 62% of students said they need additional financial support.

Malaika Arshad, 19, who is studying BSc Psychology at Middlesex University, said self-care is key to manage stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle. “It’s important that students feel comfortable seeking help, whether it’s from friends, teachers or mental health professionals. Take regular breaks and seek support when you feel overwhelmed; having someone to talk to will always make you feel better,” she said.

Alvin Gashaija, 20, a BSc Cyber Security and Digital Forensics student, said: “Helping students to cope can make the difference between them continuing or discontinuing their studies.

“Join a society in something you are passionate about, whether it is martial arts, gaming or music, to give you some downtime. Volunteering is a great way to stay mentally healthy as it is rewarding, can lead to life-long friendships, is valued by employers, and gives you a personal skills set.”  

Pavneet Kaur, 28, who is studying MSc Digital Marketing, said: “Fostering student mental health is an investment in shaping resilient minds that not only excel academically but also radiate empathy, innovation, and an understanding of others. My advice is to deal with challenges boldly, make self-care a priority, and recognise that setbacks are not barriers but transformative stepping stones towards personal growth.”

Fatima Kazimi, an MSc Digital Marketing student, said: “Discuss any issues with close friends and family, and make use of the help provided by the MDX Wellbeing Support teams; prioritise self-care such as taking walks and exercise and get involved in the extra-curricular activities available at Middlesex University including MDX House which has sports facilities, the Gym and Fitness Pod. Finally, take extra care with diet and hydration as these can have a huge impact on mood.”

Uni Mental Healthy Day

Arati Kumari Raut, 22, who is studying BA Business Management, said: “Creating a safe space for students to share their stories is a great way to support mental health.

“Take as much time as you want with your thoughts and do not deny your feelings. It's okay not to have everything in control and be truthful to yourself and have those uncomfortable conversations in your head. Be kind to yourself, as there can be difficult times for all of us.”

Matthew Lawson added: “I endorse the sensible and practical advice that our students have offered.

“Although University Mental Health Day is an important date in the calendar to promote and raise awareness of these issues, our services run all year round. Later this month, we will be holding our successful Neurodiversity Festival for the second time.

“As Fatima says, the most important thing is to keep talking, whether that is with friends and family, other students, or academic advisors in the counselling team. Middlesex University is a big community and we support each other.”

Find out more information about the support for student mental health at Middlesex University.

Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

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