Mental Health Awareness week

Posted on

Today marks the first day of the Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week for 2022, an annual event where there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. The theme of the week this year is loneliness.

Loneliness is the negative feeling we have when there is a mismatch between the relationships we want and the ones we have, both in terms of quality and quantity. Loneliness is feeling alone, not being alone.

As a student, it is likely that you will be experiences many life changes, including starting university, making new friends, moving away from home for the first time, and so many other changes too. Experiencing changes and making life decisions can have an impact on our sense of belonging, and a perceived lack of belonging can be linked to an increased feeling of loneliness.

Loneliness is very closely linked to mental health, and can be a cause and an effect of poor mental health. If we feel lonely, it might lead to poor mental health, and if our mental health is poor, it can lead to feelings of loneliness.

So what can we do to tackle loneliness?

The Mental Health Foundation’s Unlocking Loneliness Campaign highlights 15 things to do if you’re feeling lonely, including:

Explore your feelings

Think about how you are feeling and what could be contributing to this. It can be useful to keep a journal and note down what you have (or haven’t) been doing, and how you are feeling. By better understanding what makes us feel- the way we feel, we can do more to learn what works for us and protect our mental health.

Be aware of social media

Remember to take social media with a pinch of salt. People tend to post the positive aspects of their lives. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have negative experiences and may be feeling lonely too. If social media is having a negative impact on your mental health, or making you feel lonely, why not try unfollowing or muting the accounts that bring up those difficult feelings, and start following accounts that make you feel empowered

Find your tribe

Finding people with similar interests you can relate to can help you feel more connected. University clubs and societies are a great place to start, UWE MOVE, Centre for Music and Student Life are brilliant places to meet new people too. There are also sites like Meetup specifically designed to help you find people with similar interests. Give a go and see!

Find balance

The increased workload at university can make it easy to neglect looking after yourself and making time for the things and the people that you care about. Being disconnected from these things can increase your feelings of loneliness, so remember to schedule in time for you and the things you enjoy too.

How can you get involved in Mental Health Awareness week?

On social media, we are encouraging you to share your experiences of loneliness using the hashtag #IveBeenThere to support others and raise awareness.

If you’re looking for a challenge, sign up to the Mental Health Foundation’s 80 Miles in May Challenge, to walk, run or jog the distance over the month, to raise funds and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation.

Resources to support your mental health

Check out our Tackling loneliness webpage or the Student Guide to Loneliness, for lots of advice, tips and information about how to support yourself, as well as organisations that are there to listen to and support you.

The NHS also have extensive expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your own wellbeing, on their Every Mind Matters webpage.

If you need someone to listen

The Mix – whether you want a quick chat or more focused help, text THEMIX to 85258

Shout – if you are struggling to cope and need to talk, day or night, text SHOUT to 85258

Student Space – for one-to-one student support for whatever challenges you are facing, text STUDENT to 85258

Samaritans – whatever you are going through, you can call Samaritans anytime. Call free on 116 123

March Feel Good Focus

Posted on

By the Feel Good Team

Thank you for Feel Good February

We wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone that attended and helped out with Feel Good February.

We loved hosting these events and we hope that you enjoyed attending and entering our competitions. Stay in touch with us on social media and we’ll see you for other Feel Good events later in the year!

Did you know March is Women’s History Month?

There’s lots going on for Women’s History Month including a wellbeing Yoga Nidra session, a talk by the Clifton Suspension Bridge Master, weekly film reviews, and much more! All the events can be found on the events diary. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

#Find15

As the weather is getting a nicer, and the days are getting longer, exercising outside might become less daunting. Going for a short walk outside increases our oxygen levels which boots serotonin levels and improves our moods.

And with it being spring, it’s a great time to get outside and see all the wildlife and the flowers blooming. Perhaps when you’re on a short walk, tags us using #find15 to show us how you find 15 in your day to help improve your wellbeing.

It’s important to make sure you find time throughout your day to take a step back and be mindful. Whether this is by walking, having a bath, watching a show, cooking your favourite meal or meditating. Whatever works best for you, it will help you feel good.

Additional support

The conflict in Ukraine has created great anxiety for many, particularly those in our community from Ukraine but also those from Russia and other neighbouring countries, and those whose families and friends may be affected.

We would like to remind our students that we are here to support you and that our wellbeing services are on offer for anyone who has been affected by the events unfolding in Ukraine.

Our fantastic Advice Centre team are on hand to provide you with friendly, non-judgemental, and confidential support. We also have a range of wellbeing services available to all students and the Global centre for international student support.

University Mental Health day

Posted on

by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity team

Following the events of Feel Good February, we’re continuing the promote the importance of practising self-care and managing your mental wellbeing with University Mental Health Day on Thursday 3 March, founded by Student Minds and the University Mental Health Advisors Network.

Learning more about mental health

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England , with 1 in 6 people reporting a common mental health problem in any given week .

These include, but are not limited to: anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While they are not mental health diagnoses, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm are also related to mental health.

Supporting your mental health

Professional services

Whether you’re living with a condition, know, or are supporting someone who is, it’s important that you seek out daily and long-term support. UWE Bristol are proud to feature a range of professional health and wellbeing services to support you, that include out of hours support and are also partnered with local organisations such as Off the Record and Bristol Mental Health, endeavouring to provide you with an extensive range of care.

Exercise

Exercise is also a great way to raise endorphins and the free MOVE programme at the Centre for Sport, offers over 40 activities for you to engage in, including: dance, hiking, mediation, Tai Chi, and yoga. If you require quiet and self-reflection, there are sanctuary spaces across all campuses and the Student Centre based on Frenchay Campus, is also home to the out of-hours team on the first floor. If you require pastoral support, 2OCT003 based in The Octagon is a 5-minute walk from there.

Diet

Diet can also impact mental wellbeing and the University strives to offer a range of nutritious food and drink outlets on all campuses that accommodate dietary requirements including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free and are open to any recommendations to diversify their options.

There are also Hydration stations located throughout each of the campuses to encourage you to work towards drinking 1.5 to 2.3 litres of water a day, as recommended by the NHS. Water has many benefits, including improved focus, boosting your immune system, and mood maintenance, so you could also combine a short walk to a station in another building and get some fresh air to maintain those endorphins.

How to get involved in University Mental Health day

Get involved by inspiring conversations, taking action, and creating change through hosting an event, signposting a friend to the available resources or sharing your experience on social media using #UniMentalHealthDay.

No one should ever feel alone with their mental health, so we encourage you to engage with the links embedded within this post or to speak with your personal tutor for further support.

February Feel Good Focus

Posted on

By the Feel Good Team

Feel Good February is here!

If you haven’t got involved in Feel Good February before, it’s a great way to kick start the year in a healthy way! With a month-long series of free health and wellbeing events and activities it’s designed to help you improve your mental and physical wellbeing and just ‘feel good’.

Each week has a theme which will be reflected in the events you can get involved with. The themes this year in order are, relax, try something new, get active and eat well.

This year, our events will be a mixture in person and virtually as we felt that this way would be more accessible to people who are not yet able to attend on campus. We want everyone in the UWE community to feel involved!

Why are these themes important?

Relax

  • Managing your stress is very important for your mental and physical wellbeing.
  • It’s important to take a break from work or studying to help you re-energise ready for your next tasks.

Try something new

  • By trying something new, you may find a skill that you did not realise you had.
  • You can connect and meet new people who also share your interest.

Get active

  • By doing some exercise, it helps release endorphins to help your feel good.
  • Getting outside has been proven to benefit your mental health.
  • Getting involved in a team sport will help you meet other people.

Eat well

  • Staying hydrated is not only good for your body but also good for your mind.
  • Eating a balanced diet is good for your physical and mental health.
  • Try going veggie or vegan, or even try swapping just a few meals a week to veggie based.

We’re also empowering students to ‘Find 15’ this month. ‘Find 15’ is about finding 15 minutes to help your wellbeing and to help you relax and take a moment to pause.

This could be by going for a short walk, watching your favourite show, reading a book or by doing some exercise. Whatever it is, we hope that you can take a moment to ‘Find 15’.

Share your ‘Find 15’ by using the hashtag #Find15 and tagging us @feelgooduwe.

We hope that you can attend some of the events and see you there!

What else is on?

As well as all the Feel Good activities taking place, February is also LGBTQ+ history month . To celebrate we’re hosting a range of events for you to get involved in.

Third-year BA Film Studies students Aiofe and Lydia, will also be providing a series of weekly reviews that capture this year’s theme of ‘Politics in Art’ over on The Inclusive University blog. Their first review is of Derek Jarman’s film Caravaggio (1986).

All reviewed films are available to stream via Kanopy, where as a UWE Bristol student your membership is free.

Your January Feel Good Focus

Posted on

by the Feel Good Team

Happy New Year – we hope that you have a nice break over the holidays!

January can seem daunting with covid, the cold weather and the typical ‘blues’ after all the festivities. It can also seem stressful if you have any exams or deadlines upcoming this month.

Here at Feel Good, we want to help you get back to your studies in the healthiest and most positive way possible and help you manage with any stress that you may have.

Try to get a good amount of sleep

Having a good night’s sleep helps you focus throughout the day. Try to aim to have 7-8 hours of sleep. It can seem challenging when thinking of assessments, perhaps try having a bath or shower before bed, a hot drink, reading a book and putting the phone down earlier on in the evening. There are also some apps that help you relax such as Calm or Bloom.

Get organised

Having a planner and writing down tasks can help when it seems that you’re balancing a lot. By seeing what tasks you have can help you realise how to complete them more effectively. Having an organised revision schedule always helps manage stress, but also keeping a tidy and organised room will help too. A good tip to try and maintain this is to tidy your desk and room when you first get up and get ready for the day. By having a clean environment, it can help reduce stress and help you focus on the main task of studying.

Give yourself a break

As important as studying is, it’s important to take a break. Find 15 minutes (#Find 15) to go for a walk, watch your favourite programme, exercise or make a nice meal. You need to take regular breaks so that you don’t burnout. There are many walking routes around all the UWE Bristol campuses. But if you are studying from home, try and look up local routes for you to have a break and explore.

Keep talking

If you are feeling overwhelmed after the holidays, it’s ok to not feel ok. But it’s important to communicate to friends, family or our staff here at UWE Bristol so that they can support you through this time. Your lecturers are here to support you too if you’re feeling stressed about an assessment or anything else. Our health and wellbeing services are always here to help too.

Coming soon…Feel Good February!

Something to look forward to, Feel Good February is coming up!

If you’ve not engaged with Feel Good February before, it’s filled with exciting activities both online and in person (subject to change from advice from the government). The month will be split into weekly themes of relax, try something new, get active and eat well. Each week will be full of things for everyone to get involved in, so keep checking the Feel Good pages for updates! Plus, keep an eye out for the Feel Good February giveaway!

Your December Feel Good Focus

Posted on

by the Feel Good Team

This time of year might seem all glitz and glam, but that often isn’t the case for everyone, so it’s important to look after your wellbeing and to keep in touch with your friends and family.

Here are some of our top tips to help look after your wellbeing during this time:

Talk about your feelings

When things are difficult or if you are feeling down, it is always a good thing to try and talk to someone. Message your friends, family or even speak to the university about how you are feeling.

Talking about how you feel always helps. Another idea is to write things down as it can help if you are feeling anxious. And remember that UWE Bristol are always here for you with a number of support options available to you if you need them.

Look after your health and wellbeing

Even though it is cold, it is important to try and stay active. Perhaps go for a short mindful walk around campus or around where you live. Try and not just walk, but take in what is around you, breathe in the fresh air and look at the different colours of the leaves on the trees.

Keeping active and being mindful can help you relax and improve your wellbeing. If you are more into activities rather than walking, sign up to get a free MOVE membership card from the Centre for Sport.

Be kind

Being kind helps give you a sense of feeling good since you have done good, which helps improve your wellbeing. This year, try volunteering some of your time. You can always look on the UWE volunteering page for current volunteering opportunities, or you can contact local homes or charities.

If you can’t give your time why not donate some old clothes to the salvation army or blankets to animal rescues. Many charities also allow you to buy presents or packages for specific causes, like the Hartlepool Giving Tree where you can presents for children.

Treat yourself

This time of year, is for giving, but don’t forget to also treat yourself. This could be from binge watching that TV show, watching Christmas movies, buying that thing you have wanted for ages or eating a little too much (as we all do this time of year).  Giving yourself a treat will help boost your mood and will make you feel happier.

Events to look out for

There’s always something going on at UWE Bristol especially during the festive period! Keep your eye out on the UWE events diary and The Students’ Union What’s on page for updated events and activities to get involved in.

And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for all things festive Feel Good!

Your November Feel Good Focus

Posted on

by the Feel Good Team

Hello November! Well hasn’t that come around very quickly.

We hope that you are all settled in and finding your feet. However, if you are not feeling ok, it’s ok! You have to remember that you’re not alone and others are also feeling the same way.

Being at university can feel like a lot sometimes and it can become overwhelming, especially when you start having deadlines. But don’t feel like you need to tackle the stress and worry alone. It’s important to get in touch if you feel you need some help or support – our kind staff here at UWE Bristol are here to help you.

It also doesn’t help that the days are getting shorter leading to people suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or the ‘winter blues’. Symptoms can include lack of energy, change of appetite or feeling sad, low or hopeless.

If you feel that you are suffering from this, here are some tips to help manage and overcome the winter blues:

Keep active

Even though it’s cold outside, make sure you get out during the day to get as much daylight as possible. Exercise is a great mood booster so whether it’s a short walk, run or going to the gym or a class, it can really help get those endorphins flowing. Why not make the most of this year’s free MOVE membership and try a class?

Eat well

When the days get shorter the amount of vitamin D we get from the sun decreases which is why many people feel the symptoms of SAD or generally feel unwell through the winter months. Make sure you’re getting vitamin D in your diet instead, by eating foods like oily fish, or by taking daily supplements.

Some people also find that they want to eat more during winter or snack more regularly. If that’s how you’re feeling, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet whilst also allowing yourself a treat!

Try something new

Try to take up a new hobby, whether it’s writing a blog, sewing, juggling or making banana bread, as it will give your mind something to concentrate on that you enjoy.

And finally…talk about it

Just talking to someone about your feelings and worries can make you feel better. Speaking to friends and family can work well as they know you best and can often give you the support you need.

But if you don’t want to talk to family or friends and are finding something difficult, don’t suffer in silence. Take a look at our wellbeing support options and find the help that you need. From counselling through the Wellbeing Service, to same day support and self-help, there’s always somewhere to turn.

Your University Health Centre

Posted on

by Lucy, Patient Services Manager at the University Health Centre

Did you know we have our very own doctors’ surgery right in the heart of Frenchay Campus?

It’s open to all UWE Bristol students, no matter which campus you’re studying at. You can stay registered with us for your whole time at university, which means you won’t have to worry about finding another doctor as you move in your second and third year. Plus, as we work in partnership with The Old School Surgery in Fishponds, registering with us means you’ll be automatically registered with them too. Effectively you’re getting two doctors’ surgeries for one!

It’s easy to register online and registering now means that we’ll be able to get your records from your previous GP so that we’re ready to treat you if you need us. It also means you won’t have to worry about going through the registration process or finding a walk-in centre when you actually need to see a doctor – you can just book an appointment with us without all the extra hassle.

And don’t worry – you can still see your previous GP if you go home for the holidays. You’ll just need to see them as a temporary patient. It won’t affect your registration with us in Bristol and you can easily re-register with them if you move back home once you’ve finished your course.

So why register with us?

We’ve got a great team based at the Health Centre, made up of GPs, nurses and same day Urgent Care Practitioners. We also have Mental Health Nurses, who are available to assist you with any concerns or support you might need whilst you are studying at UWE. We’re a friendly bunch and you can talk to us about anything – trust us, we really have heard it all before!

We offer all of your standard GP services, including appointments, blood tests, travel vaccines, sexual health advice and free chlamydia screening kits. We can arrange your MenACWY vaccination, which protects you against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia, if you didn’t have it before you arrived – and we really recommend that you have it. We also work in partnership with the University’s Wellbeing Service, offering you support for your mental health such as counselling appointments. We’ll also refer you to other services in and around Bristol where required, to make sure you get all the medical help you need.

Remember that some common minor health concerns like coughs, colds, hayfever or an upset stomach don’t need to be seen by a doctor, unless they last for more than a week. Pop in to talk to your local pharmacist for advice – they’re experts who can recommend certain medications that you can take without a prescription. If the doctors’ surgery or pharmacy is closed, you can call NHS 111 for urgent medical advice.

If you’re an international student our healthcare system may be different to what you’re used to – don’t worry, we’re here to explain everything you need to know. Most services such as GP consultations and emergency treatment are free for everyone. You may need to pay for prescriptions, dental treatment and sight tests – although most students can get these at a reduced cost or free (just collect a HC1 application form from us or from the UWE Information Point). Doctors’ surgeries don’t provide eye tests or dental check ups – you can find an optician or a dentist through the NHS website.

Remember, we’re here to help you so that you can get on with your studies and fully enjoy your university experience – so register with us now!

Your October Feel Good Focus

Posted on

by the Feel Good team

What a welcome! We hope that you’re settling into university life here at UWE Bristol.

This month’s Feel Good Focus includes different recipes for you to try at home, more ways to get active, ways to relax and new things to try!

Eat well

Now we are fully into autumn, it seems to be that time of year where we fancy ‘cosy’ kind of meals. Especially foods packed with vitamins to help us now we will have less sunlight and to help build are immune systems. Here are a few of our favourite winter recipes!

Meat: Spiced Chicken, Spinach and Sweet Potato Stew

Vegetarian: Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Vegan: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Get active

Even though the weather and cold can be off putting, it is important to try and stay active. UWE MOVE are kindly offering free MOVE passes for all UWE students normally costing £40 – how great is that!

The MOVE pass allows you to have access to a variety of weekly sessions such as meditation, badminton, touch rugby and more. It’s a great way to get active, clear your mind, improve your health and to make friends along the way.

You can view the timetable online or you can book through the Bristol Sport App. The sessions are flexible and all about having fun.

Relax

Starting a new course or a new year of studies can feel intense at times. Just remember to put some time aside each week for yourself. Your mental and physical health is the most important thing. You can watch that Netflix episode or you could check out what events The Students’ Union at UWE are running.

Tackling loneliness

Posted on

Loneliness is something that everyone feels at some point in their lives and each of our experiences are individual to us. To find out more about loneliness and what can cause and contribute to it, take a look at Mind’s website.

We’ve pulled together some information on how to build connections and meet others. We hope you find this useful and remember, you can always reach out for support if you need help.

To find out how to access any wellbeing support you need, visit our wellbeing support information.

Tips to help with loneliness

Watch this short video from Mind for tips to help you with loneliness. 

Connect with others at UWE Bristol

University events

Take part in UWE Bristol events. The University hosts a wide range of activities throughout the year, from Feel Good to workshops and socials.

MOVE

This year MOVE membership, usually £40, is FREE! There are over 40 activities to get involved in – from football and hiking to Zumba and yoga – and it’s a great way to get active and meet new people!

The Centre for Music

The Centre for Music is open for members. Join them for music software tutorials, music lessons or music masterclass events. It’s free to become a member and it’s a great way to learn new skills and meet new people.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to meet others, all whilst doing something great that makes you feel good. You can take part as little or as often as you like, and you’ll meet people whilst helping your community.

Connect with others through The Students’ Union

Events

The Students’ Union at UWE host a range of events to keep you connected to fellow students.

Societies

Get involved with The Students’ Union at UWE societies – it’s a great way to meet like-minded people who share your interests, learn new skills and most importantly, have fun!

The Discord networking platform

Join the Discord networking platform to meet and chat to other UWE Bristol Students online.

Hallslife

If you live on campus, HallsLife is here to help you feel at home at UWE Bristol. Throughout the year they organise events and competitions that you can get involved with. This is a great way to meet others living in halls accommodation.

Connect with others in the community

Meetup

Meetup is a great way to meet other people in your local area (events and group sessions are currently online). Browse groups by interest (like health and wellness, film, technology) or search for groups near you. Millions of people use Meetup and there should always be likeminded people nearby.

Time outdoors

Time outdoors provides a list of activity clubs in your local area, such as walking, running, climbing and cycling groups.

FriendMatch

FriendMatch works like a dating site, but matches people up with new friends rather than dates. Meet new friends near you, or connect with others around the world. There is a small fee of £4 per month to use the site.

Do It

Volunteering is another good way to meet other people. Search opportunities near you using Do It, the national database of volunteering.

Find support in the community

Befriending

Sign up for an informal weekly phone chat with Changes Bristol Befriending Service. Befrienders are trained volunteers who are happy to listen to you speak about how you’re feeling, what challenges you’re facing and how you’re coping.

Student Space

Student Space offer free, confidential, one-to-one support by text, webchat, phone and email. They’re there to help with whatever challenge your facing whether it’s loneliness, mental health, studies, money, relationships or isolation.

Mind’s online community

It’s a powerful thing to connect with someone else over shared experiences. Side by Side is an online community where you can listen, share and be heard.


Back to top