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University Mental Health Day

2 May 2023

Join us to inspire change this University Mental Health Day

Life isn’t always easy – and sometimes neither is being a uni student. At Deakin, we want to acknowledge these challenges, embrace imperfection and shine a spotlight on mental health. We’re all about creating ongoing positive change and finding ways to support ourselves and each other.

Tuesday 2 May is University Mental Health Day (UMHD). Mental health is something that affects us all. The broad spectrum of mental health encompasses more than just dealing with any problems – it’s also about helping you feel your best and accepting yourself, whatever your situation.

You may be someone who experiences anxiety, depression or another mental health issue. Perhaps you’re keen to create healthy and sustainable habits that boost your wellbeing. It might be as simple as wanting to just feel better about yourself. Whatever your mental health experience to date, you can make small changes each day to put your wellbeing front and centre.

Please know that you’re not alone. Students from Deakin, across the country and around the world face similar pressures – from family expectations and financial stress to academic difficulties and personal problems. But we see you, hear you and care for you. 

Here, we asked Wellbeing Ambassador and Bachelor of Social Work student Nicole Scott how they identify and manage symptoms of stress, and work towards wellbeing in their life.

Nicole Scott

How do you know when you are stressed – what gives it away?
When I’m feeling stressed, I get body aches, I start to get snappy at people when I wouldn’t usually, and I spend less time doing my hobbies and more time doom scrolling.

Are there any ways you’ve tried to manage stress in the past which you feel weren’t ultimately helpful? What strategies have you tried that have been beneficial?
I have found different techniques have worked at various times in my life. Most recently I have found scheduling breaks from study, prioritising walks in nature and creative outlets help me to manage stress. When lots of assignments are due, I still try to fit these in but in more achievable ways. Instead of going on a hike in the forest, I’ll go grab a coffee and sit at Eastern Beach before class.

What advice would you offer other students who may be feeling stressed or overwhelmed, based on what has worked for you?
Know that you are not alone, a lot of university students if not all experience stress and overwhelm, university is a challenging time! You’re allowed to feel stressed. I recommend trying out techniques and keep trying until you find what works for you, there’s something out there for everyone!

Hear how some of our other Deakin Wellbeing Ambassadors manage the uni-life balance: watch our UMHD video on Deakin Life Instagram now!

What’s happening for UMHD 2023

Mental health and wellbeing should be a ‘normal’ thing to talk about. This UMHD, we’d love for you to start thinking about your wellbeing, so here’s some ways you can get involved:

Beyond UMHD: how to keep focusing on your wellbeing

There’s some fantastic organisations, resources and tools that can show you how to achieve the best possible mental health. Check out VicHealth for helpful resources to encourage healthy mental wellbeing, Beyond Blue for a ‘stay well’ plan or the Black Dog Institute for a self-care planning fact sheet and template.

Some simple everyday habits can also help you to stay more balanced and in control:

We also encourage you to access professional support whenever you need extra help. We offer a range of health and wellbeing services to support you during your time at Deakin.

For urgent support outside of business hours, contact Lifeline (13 11 14) or SuicideLine (1300 651 251) straight away. They’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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