Student mental health and wellbeing

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Student mental health and wellbeing

We all have mental health in the same way we have physical health. Sometimes this is called ‘wellbeing’.

Staying mentally and physically healthy is important for dealing with life’s ups and downs. This post is about mental health and wellbeing. The information in this post might be helpful for you, or for helping one of your friends or family members.

Having good wellbeing means that we can:

  • Participate fully in our studies and hobbies
  • Make and maintain positive relationships with others
  • Stay in control of our emotions
  • Feel generally happy, hopeful and positive

What is stress?

It is normal to encounter some stress throughout life. Challenges and stress can impact on our mental health. These could include:

  • Pressures of school, assignments and exams
  • The impact of external factors, like Covid-19
  • Relationship difficulties or arguments with friends, family or boyfriends/girlfriends
  • Managing a  physical or mental health condition, or looking after someone at home who is unwell
  • Worry about your body image
  • Confusion about your sexuality or identity

If you are under stress, or dealing with challenging mental health, you might feel:

  • Not yourself, or that something is wrong
  • Anxious, angry or sad
  • Find it hard to enjoy things you normally enjoy
  • Confused by your thoughts and emotions
  • Distant from the people around you

Have a look at Mind UK for more advice on understanding your feelings. It is normal to feel worried, sad or angry at times. But if you feel this way a lot it might be sign that things are not ok.

Self-care, looking after our wellbeing:

Here are some simple ways to help look after our day-to-day wellbeing:

  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Be active in a way you enjoy
  • Try to eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep
  • Take time out to be still, listen to music you enjoy, breathe deeply, or stretch
  • Be kind to yourself

Check out the Mental Health Foundation for more advice on self-care and wellbeing.

Looking after your mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak

Taking steps to look after your mental health is especially important right now, when there is so much uncertainty and constant news updates.

YoungScot have created a new resource, Aye Feel, to support young people during this time. 

Signs of poor mental health:

Anyone can suffer from poor mental health, and mental health concerns are very common. If you are dealing with a mental health problem you might feel anxious, sad or angry most days, or feel that you cannot cope.

What to do if you are worried about your mental health:

  • Talk to a trusted adult like a family member or teacher
  • Share your feelings with a friend
  • Get in touch with your doctor
  • Look at support available face-to-face, over the phone, or things you could try yourself, LEAPS have some useful links below.


Remember, you don’t have to deal with things on your own. It is always ok to ask for help. Mind UK has guidance on how to have these conversations with your friends or family, and how to ask your doctor for support. If you are urgently worried about your own safety, or the safety of others, call 999.


Useful contacts:

Why not save these numbers in your phone? You never know when you, or a friend might need them.

If you are in distress or an emergency, call 999 for immediate help.

If your health is impacting on your school studies, have a chat with your teacher or school Guidance Counsellor.

Mind UK – information and support for young people about understanding feelings and support.

ChildLine – For young people up to 19 years old. Call free on 0800 1111, 9am - midnight each day, or use their online chat and message boards.

Mental Health Foundation UK – Advice on looking after our wellbeing

Young Minds – Information on coping with exam and results stress

The Samaritans – Call free on 116 123, for emotional support 24 hours a day. You can email or write a letter too.

Breathing Space - Call 0800 83 85 87 for help and support.