Mental wellbeing describes how we are feeling and how well we can cope with day-to-day life. It can change from moment to moment, day to day, month to month or year to year.
What affects someone's mental wellbeing won't necessarily affect others in the same way. But we all have times when we have low mental wellbeing, where we feel stressed, upset or find it difficult to cope. If we experience low mental wellbeing over a long period of time, we are more likely to develop a mental health problem.
Managing your wellbeing is an important skill to develop. The University promotes the 10 Ways of Wellbeing which are steps we can all take to improve our wellbeing and maintain our life balance.
Mental health problems affect around one in four people. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Living with a mental health problem can often have an impact on day to day life, making things that others might not think about a bit more difficult.
We believe that all students and staff at the University should be able to talk freely about their mental health. Much like physical health, we all have it, and need to look after it to stay fit and well. Finding out more about the types of mental health problems can be helpful in making us feel more confident to talk to others.
What support is available?
If you are feeling distressed and need immediate help:
- Contact your doctor's surgery and request an emergency appointment. If your surgery is not open, contact the NHS Out of Hours Service on 111 available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.
- Call the Samaritans on 116 123 available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.
- If you feel at immediate risk of harm to yourself, go straight to your nearest hospital Accident and Emergency department or call Emergency Services on 999.
- Call the Nightline service on 01179 266 266 available 8am-8pm during term time. Nightline is an anonymous service. Calls charged at your standard network rate.
- Call the Bristol Mental Health Crisis Service 24/7 on 0300 555 0334. They support people experiencing an extreme mental health or emotional crisis.
- The Student Counselling Service does not offer emergency support. There is a list of local services which may be able to help. The list includes services open 24 hours.
Support for students
- The University has a range of wellbeing support. If you are not sure who to contact, you can speak to an Adviser from the University’s Student Wellbeing or Residential Life Services for advice and support. Contact Wellbeing Access to do this.
- Consider submitting extenuating circumstances (links to Word form) if your studies have been or are being affected.
- Student Minds is a national charity which aims to empower students to look after their own mental health, support others and create change.
- Big White Wall offers safe, anonymous online support 24/7, including peer and professional support.
- Off the Record provides free group and individual counselling and support for young people up to the age of 25, including a specialist LGBTQ+ service.
Support for staff members
- Talk to your line manager, particularly if your work has been/is being affected.
- University support services for staff wellbeing and mental health, including the Staff Counselling Service.
- University staff networks provide a safe space for colleagues sharing particular circumstances or characteristics to connect with others, share experiences and challenge organisational practices to create a more inclusive working environment.
- Time to Change provides advice and guidance for employees experiencing a mental health problem.
- Mental health at work guidance produced by Mind.
Other sources of support
- Report and Support for advice and reporting options for staff and students who have experienced bullying, assault, discrimination or harassment. You can also report witnessing these things happening to others.
- Mind is a national charity with local centres which provides information, support and guidance for anyone experiencing a mental health problem, or anyone who is supporting someone with a mental health problem. They also have a comprehensive list of specialist organisations and resources.
- Bristol Wellbeing Therapies offers free support to improve wellbeing including group work and individual CBT sessions.
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) offers support to men in the UK, of any age, who are down or in crisis via their helpline, webchat and website.
- Womankind supports women in the Bristol area with professional counselling, group psychotherapy, befriending and a helpline service.
- Mind Out is a national mental health service run by and for the LGBTQ+ community.