Staying safe at University
For many new students the last thing they are thinking about is their long term physical or mental health. However, as we have shown mental health issues are on the rise in universities. This rise will accompany a series of changes in social climates that reinforce or exacerbate this kind of issue. A major concern for those sending their children to university is the drugs and alcohol they feel accompany their studies. While not all students engage in the taking of drugs or binge drinking their are many that do and we intend to outline some of the things they can do to stay safe.
Talk to Frank
Talk to Frank (Link found below) is an anonymous and free web service that allows students to browse information on drugs and how to take them safely. It also provides links and services to worried parents/users who feel that their consumption is getting out of control. This is a vitally important service for allowing students to know what they’re taking, how much they should be taking and in what ways it can affect them. While there are critics to this open knowledge, approach giving students the ability to understand and manage the peer pressure they will undoubtedly face is useful.
While websites like talk to frank can enable students to make smarter decisions it is also important to know who to call if something goes wrong. In the UK this would be the NHS or the 111 emergency number. While it may seem uncool or dangerous to call an ambulance for yourself or a friend it is always better to face the wrath of parents than have a friend/yourself injured or perhaps worse. If you feel it is a persisting problem the NHS also offer services to help end addiction.
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for students to get signed up with a local Gp/on site practitioner as soon as they arrive. While this may seem un needed at first a student can never know how they will feel in a few months time. Having medical assistance or using the available mental health services can be a lifesaver in times of stress and hardship. Getting signed up immediately removes one more barrier of seeking help, registering. Students with a history of mental health issues should also consider signing up for DSA. This would allow them to use free mentoring and counselling services that could assist them during their studies
Whilst most students will have some kind of run in with drugs or alcohol during their time at universities it is vital they stay safe. Using these three services along with any other help your particular institution offer will help you navigate the harder times and peer pressure that can accompany your new life at university. To find out what we at Cathartic are doing to assist those with mental health explore the website by clicking the links found below.
If you are seeking to tackle mental health within your organisation click here to find out more SpeakOut
If you or a loved one are concerned regarding mental health visit the NHS