We know that we struggle with our mental health; it’s been talked about as a crisis from national media to the government, and universities are putting into place strategies to tackle it, including Imperial. I have been working all year with College to create a plan for making Imperial a place of support, not one of a “painful rite of passage."
We can’t deny that being a student can be hard, and being an Imperial student can be really hard. We have to face up to the fact that sometimes we make mistakes, have a bad day and take too much on (or leave a bit too much to the last minute...). And it’s ok to take on a challenge like this. But we also keep going beyond the point that we can cope, we can overwhelm ourselves, and we can be so busy trying to manage anything we don’t notice we’re not really managing our lives well anymore. A bit of stretching ourselves to reach our goals can be healthy, but it only works if we’re nourishing and protecting ourselves so that we can effectively stretch.
Loads of us have asked for help before – sometimes it’s been helpful, but sometimes it wasn’t what we’d hoped for. Plenty of us have never had that first time of realising we don’t feel healthy, and talking to someone about it.
This week, if we can do one thing it’s to say – it's ok to ask for help. There are people all over Imperial who ask ‘how are you?’ and want to hear your truthful answer. We’ll be talking about mental health all week, and sharing about our experiences, and places we can get support.