Your mental health
Studying at university sucks sometimes. Problems with classes and assignments compound with problems at home and at work—a lack of money, health issues and academic deadlines. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. It’s important that you recognise those feelings and communicate them. You’ve probably got a lot going on right now. You may be better off resting at home than going out with friends—that’s fine. You might not be able to get your assignments polished in time for submission—it’s okay. When your friends are down and out, don’t forget that your compassion can go a long way.
Find stuff you like to do and do it. You’ll probably need time out from study every now and again. Take that time out. Live. Find a thing you can do and do it—whatever it is.
But mindfulness and hobbies will only get you so far. If you feel overwhelmed a lot of the time, are experiencing panic attacks, or are just struggling to cope—please see the Counselling Centre. They’re free and confidential. They want to help (and it’s their job).
Managing stress, low moods, and anxiety is also ‘normal’. Everyone who experiences these things copes differently. You might need to access the Guild’s emergency relief services for help with finances, childcare, car-related expenses, free counselling, tax help, and more. These small things might be significant.
If you’re lost or don’t know where to start, it’s a safe bet to get in touch with our Student Assist officers. The confidential, unbiased, and independent support they offer can get you on the right track to get you what you need as a student.
Feeling anxious is something that usually happens from time to time.It is one of the most common mental health conditions in Australia with an average of one in four people – one in three women and one in five men which will most likely experience anxiety at some stage in their life. The common symptoms of anxiety are physical, psychological and behavioural.
There are various types of strategies one can try to manage anxiety. What works for everyone is usually different but below are 10 strategies to try so as to stay well and manage the changes and challenges of anxiety:
- Slow breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Stay in the present moment
- Healthy lifestyle
- Take small acts of bravery
- Challenge your self-talk
- Plan worry time
- Get to know your anxiety
- Learn from others
- Be kind to yourself
Curtin Counselling and Disability Services offer a range of free services for students including one-on-one counselling and group workshops, such as mindfulness meditation sessions, self-care at university, exam anxiety, managing homesickness, and procrastination skills. Sessions can be conducted via phone or Skype for regional and external students.
There’s also a tonne of other mental health services available, we’ve shortlisted a few:
Curtin Health Services
Curtin Health Services have a bunch of useful resources for students in relation to their health—which includes their mental health—bulk-billed (which means free) for domestic students, and mostly covered by health insurance for international students. This includes advice about stress management, sexual health, and drugs, as well as free, confidential appointments with a mental health nurse about mental health management. You can find out more about their services on their website, or call them to book appointments or for urgent medical problems on (08) 9266 7345.
Headspace provides free, confidential mental health services for 12–25 year olds. They cover four areas: mental health, physical health (including sexual health), work and study support, and alcohol and other drug services. Headspace centres are located in metropolitan and regional areas across Australia (the closest to Curtin University is Osborne Park headspace) and their eheadspace service provides online and over-the-phone counselling. Visit their website for more information to find a centre near you, or call 1800 650 890 for eheadspace.
SARC provides free, confidential services to anyone who has been sexually abused or assaulted. They have a 24-hour emergency service—which includes medical care, a forensic examination, and counselling support—for people who have been sexually assaulted within the previous 14 days; and they provide counselling in centres across the Perth metropolitan area for people who have experienced sexual abuse or assault in the past. Visit their website for more information; call (08) 9340 1828—or 1800 199 888 (free from landline only)—for their 24-hour emergency service; or 9340 1828 (between 8.30am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday) to access their counselling service.
QLife is a counselling and referral service for the LGBTQIA+ community. They provide nation-wide, early intervention, peer supported telephone and web based services to diverse people of all ages experiencing poor mental health, psychological distress, social isolation, discrimination, experiences of being misgendered and/or other social determinants that impact on their health and wellbeing. Visit their website for more information or call 1800 184 527 from 3pm–12amfor their support line.
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. They have heaps of resources online, and an online crisis support chat (from 10pm to 3am). Call 13 11 14 for their 24-hour support line.
Beyondblue provides mental health information and support services for people in Australia. Their website has a tonne of information, and they have a 24-hour support line which you can reach on 1300 22 4636.