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Time to Talk about mental health

If you’re one of our regular blog readers, you’ll know we talk a lot about mental health. We do this because it’s so important, especially in the modern era when we’re not just dealing with being at home in the pandemic, but also a faster moving world in which less and less happens face to face. 

This can be tough to adapt to, but the great news is that there’s more support and advice out there than ever before. As part of Time to Talk day, we wanted to take a minute to highlight everything available for you. 

For students, we have Mental Health Champions available for you to speak to at all of our campuses. We put together some profiles for them back in September and you can find your local Champion here.

If you need to talk to someone outside of college opening hours, there are some great services out there that can be contacted including:

  • Samaritans, a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week support service. Call them FREE on 116 123. You can also email jo@samaritans.org
  • Papyrus, a dedicated service for people up to the age of 35 who are worried about how they are feeling or anyone concerned about a young person. You can call the HOPElineUK number on 0800 068 4141, text 07786 209697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org
  • NHS Choices, a 24-hour national helpline providing health advice and information. Call them free on 111. 
  • CALM, a national helpline for men to talk about any troubles they are feeling. Call 0800 58 58 58.

If you’re finding things difficult but don’t want to speak to the people we’ve listed above, you can start a conversation with your family, friends or a member of staff you feel comfortable speaking to as well. Time to Talk is all about getting into the habit of talking about your mental health when you feel you need to, so remember, it’s ok to open up to someone you trust. 

Finally, there are so many great ways to boost your mental health. Exercise including anything from walking or jogging, to lifting weights at home or yoga can help to burn off energy and give your mind something to focus on that’s positive. Catching up with friends, course-mates or family over Zoom can also help if you’re feeling a bit isolated. Even something as simple as putting your feet up with a brew and watching a happy film or TV series can make a world of difference to how you’re feeling. 

If you want to try something more practical, mindfulness can be helpful to calm your mind and to take a step away from a busy life for a moment. Mind has some basic mindfulness techniques to start using here.

It’s always ok to not be ok but there is always help and advice available to get you back to happy.