It’s normal to experience mental health issues, that is, to go through 'ups and downs'. But university life can be particularly difficult with the stress of a new environment and the pressures of assignments and exams. If difficulties start to hang around for a while and it feels like nothing can make them go away, there is support available.
What is 'good' mental health?
Good mental health is when:
- You can work and study to your full potential
- You actively connect and participate with family, friends and your community
- You undertake enjoyable activities
- You are coping with everyday stressors, and
- You are able to bounce back reasonably quickly from unexpected challenges and changes
How do I know if I'm not OK?
Feeling down, stressed, anxious, frustrated, sad and angry are all normal emotions. However, if these kinds of feelings persist for long periods of time and start to influence how you think and your ability to function in your life, your mental health may need some attention.
A number of overlapping factors increase your risk of developing mental health issues. These can include:
- Early life experiences: People have different histories and experiences that impact on how they function in their current life
- Personal characteristics: Each person thinks, feels, and copes differently, particularly when faced with challenges and change
- Current circumstances: Everyone has different stressors impacting on them at any one time, including family, work, study, personal, health and financial issues. An accumulation of stressors or an unexpected challenge can increase your need for additional support.
- Biological factors: Genetics and family history can be important in determining a person’s predisposition to mental health issues.
If you feel that your mental health is getting in the way of your daily life, it is important to get support and ask for help.
Where to find help