Taking Care Of Yourself At University

When we apply to go to university, it's often with hope and ambition to further our chosen careers. In reality, it's a massive life-changing event and that can bring with it, all sorts of unsettling circumstances which impact how we feel.

Whether we're living away from home for the first time, mid-way through our course, a post-graduate student, or returning to studying as a mature student, university can come with many ups and downs.

Talking - even merely thinking - about the things that make us feel vulnerable can feel a bit icky but we wanted to reassure you, that if you're feeling out of sorts about this new chapter, you're absolutely not alone. Most of us feel wobbly when coping with big life changes (even if we're really good at hiding it!). We've put together some resources that we hope will help ease the unease as you settle in.

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Cost of living crisis: Things which might help

The cost of living crisis is affecting many of us. Money talk can create feelings of shame. Struggling with money can create so much judgement... from loved ones, strangers, politicians, and worst of all, ourselves.

Soundbites like "people are choosing between heating and eating" don't do justice for the deep sense of shame, fear, frustration, anger, resentment and hopelessness, that come with struggling to afford the basics

When it comes to money, poor mental health is a big risk factor. We've pulled together a selection of helpful blogs and links that we've used, or that people have recommended to us. Most importantly, please remember that this is not your fault, and you are not alone. You deserve support.

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Supporting Young People (And You!)

Whatever our relationship to the children and young people in our care, there will always be ups, downs, and times when worry keeps us up at night. Supporting our youngsters to manage their mental health is one aspect of caring for young people that can feel daunting.

Lots of young people are far more aware of mental health than we were at their age. It's mentioned more on TV, schools often talk about it in assemblies, and many YouTubers chat about it in videos and vlogs, but knowing what mental health is, and learning how to cope with it are different things.

With time, patience, communication, the odd rant and occasional very loud kitchen sing-song, we can learn from one another, and develop healthy habits.

The Coronavirus Helpful Hub

Coronavirus. At the moment we can’t go online, listen to the radio, or watch TV, without hearing about it. The situation is constantly changing from day-to-day, hour-by-hour even - just when we think that we've got a handle on it, it all changes again.

We know that the virus, and in particular, self-isolation, working from home, and the reduction in services (including mental health services) can prove difficult to wrap our head around. Coping with these things can be tricky, and it's only natural to be worried.

This page is designed to answer questions, provide helpful resources and information, and share ideas for coping with the ever-changing landscape we find ourselves in.

Understanding Depression

Depression is more than simply a low mood: it causes mental anguish, impacts on our ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, and can cause us to function poorly in work, education and socially. At worst, depression can lead to suicide, now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds.

If you are living with depression, or wish to know more about the condition, this page contains some resources that may help you.

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About Self-Care

At Blurt, we’re always harping on about self-care. We understand how important it is, but also how tricky it can be. Self-care isn't selfish, it's essential. We can't do or be all the things we want to without taking care of ourselves.

On this page we share information and resources to help you on your self-care journey. We hope it inspires you to make positive change. Because - whatever your head may say - you *are* worthy, and you do deserve better.

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Supporting Someone Who Has Depression

Supporting someone who has depression is far from easy. You may feel helpless, confused, and struggle to know what to do for the best.

Because we understand how difficult it is to support someone with depression, AND because we know how much you are needed as a guiding light, we’ve put together some handy information with you in mind. We hope it will help you as you help others.

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Coping With Crisis

Depression is an insidious illness. At its very worst, it can take lives. Every year, more than 800,000 people of all ages and walks of life die by suicide. Up to 25 times as many people make suicide attempts, and countless more experience suicidal thoughts. Depression is very often a factor in these cases.

In this resource page we hope to build awareness and understanding about what it can be like to live with suicidal feelings. We also provide resources and information that may help in crisis situations.

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Mental Health At Work

Many of us spend a large proportion of our time at work. Often, when we factor in commuting as well, it feels like we spend more time at work than we do at home, and that we see our colleagues more than we see our family. Despite this, few of us feel able to talk about our mental health at work, especially when we’re struggling.

We’re not sure of the reaction we might get from our boss, and from our colleagues. Will they judge us, or think that we’re weak? Will they think that we’re being overdramatic or attention-seeking? Will it mean that we won’t be able to get that promotion? Will we start to be excluded? Some of us feel that the risks are too great, and choose not to mention it all.

Blurt’s Mental Health Toolkit

While we can’t necessarily keep depression at bay, we can take steps to improve our mental well-being. Our health isn’t binary (it’s not just “good” or “bad”), and there are things we can do to nudge ourselves up the sliding scale of wellness.

At Blurt, we refer to these positive actions collectively as our ‘Mental Health Toolkit’. Used regularly, our Mental Health Toolkit can help us manage our condition, reduce the severity of our symptoms, and boost our overall well-being.