Close-up of two peoples hands as they are talking.

An open letter encouraging you to reach out

Dear you,

Many struggle to talk about mental illness, often because no one wants to talk about it. You may be worried that you will just become another statistic, just another person that suffers with mental illness.

What if I told you that you are not a statistic and that what you are going through can be understood?

You may think that you can handle it yourself and while that may be true – sometimes when it comes to mental health, it’s not that simple. It often helps to talk about any mental health issues you are going through or even the simple fact you are struggling.

In reality, if you feel like you are struggling there is no shame in asking for help. That can sound like a massive task, I understand. But take it from someone who has suffered with depression and mental illness – you really are not alone and if you ever need someone, there is help available. If you feel like your friends/family can’t help or you don’t feel comfortable enough to approach them, there are other alternatives!

National charities provide resources and helplines depending on what you need, Samaritans and Mind to name a couple. If you would prefer to physically go and speak to someone, the Student Wellbeing Centre holds drop-ins every weekday 12-2pm and Thursdays (term-time) 5-7pm. The Student Wellbeing Centre also provides the Big White Wall, an anonymous online mental health support service.

If you take anything away from this, know that there is somewhere to go, and someone to speak to even if you feel you don’t have someone to directly talk to.

I know how hard it is to find or even ask for help when it’s needed. The one thing you need to bear in mind is that people are not out to get you, they will not judge you if you tell them you don’t think your mental state is the best that it can be. There are people who want to help you because your mental welfare is important.

If you are struggling with work, or feel as though you need help, do not bottle it up and wait until it reaches a point where it becomes too much. Speak to your tutor or lecturers and they will be more than happy to guide or help you.

If a friend is struggling, approach them and ask what is wrong. They might be able to help you through something that you are struggling with.

This may all come across like a massive cliché, I completely understand, but I’m speaking from personal experience.

All of this will be easier said than done, but you will never know unless you try.


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