Lonely, unmotivated, sad, tired, anxious…

Whether it’s deadlines, our mental health, physical health, or friendship and relationship struggles, we can all relate to feeling down when life gets a bit too much.

With everything going on in the world and each of our individual lives as students, it is important that we all have someone we can confide in to help lift our spirits when we just can’t seem to do it on our own.

At Essex, we want to make sure that when you say you’re fine, you really mean it. That’s why we have dedicated support systems for your mental health on campus and virtually, so that there is always someone to go to, as we believe it is important to know you shouldn’t have to struggle alone during trying times.

No problem is too big or too small to talk about.

University Mental Health Day on campus

On-campus events for University Mental Health Day last month showcased the mental health services that Essex provides. It even saw the arrival of a petting zoo with a dwarf cow, guinea pigs, a miniature pig, donkeys, and many more cute animals for students to fuss over...

A montage showing dwarf cows, micro pigs, ponies, rabbits, and chickens in a petting zoo.

But don’t worry if you missed it — here is a brief overview of the services that the University provides and works alongside:

  • a wellbeing drop-in service which can be used in person (from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, on the first floor of the Silberrad Student Centre); or you can complete an online form to request a phone call or Zoom appointment if that feels better for you
  • 24-hour phone support services at 0800 970 5020 (or +44 141 271 7168 outside the UK), including on weekends and bank holidays
  • online services and apps such as Togetherall, where you can communicate with other students who may be struggling, or SilverCloud, where you can find therapy programmes
  • 24-hour security services available at 01206 872125 (or 872222 in an emergency)
  • Samaritans
  • Student Minds
  • counselling services are offered through the University with Validium — just apply using this online referral form
  • the Chatty Bus, designed to combat loneliness and provide students with affordable, accessible travel — download the Hedingham and Chambers app for more info

Find out more about all of the other mental health services that Essex provides so that university really can be some of the best years of your life.

Tips to help protect your mental (and physical) wellbeing:

  • Regular exercise: join some sports societies (or other societies that interest you) to meet new people and relieve stress.
  • Stay hydrated: drink lots of water.
  • Eat healthily where you can (fun fact: gut health can directly impact your mental health, so it’s important to take care of yourself).
  • Arrange to meet with classmates or friends for food, drinks, or just to chat!
  • Try guided meditation or breathing exercises on YouTube or Spotify, or even find a podcast you’d enjoy listening to so you can feel less lonely in your free time.