What does mental health mean to you as a student?
Synopsis of recordings at Queen Mary’s
Two women reflecting on their time as students, 20 years ago and how mental health was not on their radar and how it wasn’t discussed. They reflect on there not being space to discuss mental health or the spaces on offer wouldn’t have been attractive for those who may have wanted to talk about it. Interested to know about the differences now, how mental health is talked about in comparison to their experiences.
Two male students talking about mental health effecting everyone and being comfortable in talking about suffering from mental health conditions. The conversation covers how mental health can be a barrier and more needs to be done by Universities to support students by relieving pressure.
Two female students talk about mental health being about having a healthy mindset and discuss personal experiences of how they have suffered and dealt with mental health conditions. They reflect on the different types of mental health conditions and how socialising and talking about it is a great coping mechanism.
Two women have a conversation about mental health, reflecting on wellbeing and managing your time to ensure you have time to look after yourself. They talk about university being an environment that could breed mental health conditions due to the change in environment, deadlines and overwhelming feelings of having to deal with their problems on their own. They also reflect on the structure of university supporting individuals with mental health problems.
Nor and Olivia talk about the importance of mental health impacting university students and talk about how the university could do more in encouraging students to use the counselling services. Mental health impacts people in a range of ways and this needs to be acknowledged and respected. The two women then talk about potential stress factors for students reflecting on deadlines, peer pressure, social groups, social media and becoming an adult.
Two female students talk about how it is difficult to talk about mental health in their Bangladeshi community but are trying to talk to older generations about it. The women reflect on how the support of friends is important in relieving pressure and looking for help if needed.
A conversation between two female students, who talk about stress being one contributor to mental health conditions. They reflect on students being able to isolate themselves and not getting support from those around them. The students talk about having to take control over your own mental health conditions and taking time to reflect on their own feelings in new situations.
A group of students discuss what mental health is, considering the cognitive side of mental health. They talk about stress and anxiety around exams, meeting deadlines and getting the grades they need. They talk about expectations impacting individual’s mental health.
Following on from recording 8 the group discuss what individuals can do to manage mental health conditions. They talk about keeping busy and joining university groups. They discuss the impact of social media and how ideal images/celebrities can exacerbate stress and anxiety.
A group of students consider the impact of society becoming more selfish on mental health and that helping others can make you feel better. The group consider some ways in which people can try and manage their mental health.
Following on from recording 10, the group consider how surrounding yourself with family and good friends is key to managing mental health conditions.
A conversation between two male students, with one who has personal experience of leaving his previous university due to mental health reasons. He reflects on his own experience of mental health being an accumulation of several problems. They discuss that major changes in life can cause mental health conditions and recognise it is a normal thing to suffer from, however recognise that some individuals need professional help. The two men go on to talk about their personal experiences of their own mental health conditions and how they tried to deal with it through using drugs and alcohol. The conversation then moves into discussing emotional intelligence and the impact of societies construct of masculinity on mental health.
Two female students discuss mental health as a student and managing work load and being aware of your own wellness. The conversation explores how as an individual you view yourself and protect yourself from your own expectations. They discuss university provision of mental health services and how they aren’t aware of them and how they’d feel reticent to seek help from them. The conversation moves into considering pressure and responsibility contributing to the development of mental health conditions and how support should be available in education from the start. The conversation ends with considering how students are supported to deal with and reframe the idea of failure.
Two female students talk about university being a time when lots of individuals can face mental health conditions due to it being a massive overwhelming transition in your life. They discuss the importance of looking out for your mind and how mental health can impact your performance at school/socially. They reflect on mental health being a much more open conversation now for the younger generation, which they feel the older generation doesn’t quite understand.
Two male students talk about how there is a lot of correspondence about mental health, highlighting that the university recognises that it’s something important to recognise. The conversation explores how universities have changed and consider whether social media has contributed to the decline in mental health. Access to help is inconsistent for individuals across London boroughs.
A male and female student reflect on the impact of university being the first time for many being independent and responsible for themselves. They talk about the stress of university and how the services aren’t good enough to support students. The pair talk about how the move to university is almost set up to be stressful.