As a student at Sheffield Hallam, mental health formed a significant part of my experience, both personally and academically. I struggle with Anxiety and Depression, and have done for a long time, but it all came to a head at university. It was at university I realised I had anxiety due to studying it and realising I was on the worse end of it.
I regret not taking advantage of the Student Wellbeing service we have at Hallam. Looking back it may have helped me make steps forwards sooner. Despite this I did take other steps to help my mental health. I spoke to some of the members of staff on my course that helped point me in the right direction. Thanks to them I registered with the Student Wellbeing service, (even if I didn’t end up using it), Big White Wall and spoke to two of my advisers – student support and academic.
They suggested that I ask for an extension on some of my assignments. I was reluctant to do this at first because to me, I felt like I was admitting defeat. However I realised that this was the best way forward for me and there was no shame in it. These options are there to help us. This was when I realised how good the staff are here because I had people reach out to me once I submitted my request and check on how I was doing. This may have been helped by my role as a department rep but that people thought to do that, it meant the world at that point.
A key factor in all of this was the support network I had around me. My course was rather mental-health focused (probably why I picked it, looking back) so a lot of us had picked up some really useful skills for helping other people in these situations. They say hard times make you realise who your friends are, and I really did at this point. My girlfriend is someone I can never thank enough for helping me through this, and she still does now. She helped me talk to members of staff when I needed support and was a rock for me throughout university as a whole. All these people really kept me going and helped me finish my degree with a 2:1!
University wasn’t easy but the support around me from friends, loved ones and the staff here at Hallam helped me through it and made me into a better and (usually) happier person. I now want to work in mental health and support students in the same situation I found myself in.
Written by James Glazier, Gradate Intern #HallamInsider
If you need support or would like to find out further information about the Student Wellbeing service and what they can offer, please take a look here.