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Mental health

We all have mental health in the same way that we all have physical health, it is part of us and we cannot ignore it or take it for granted. Like our physical health, we need to be aware of when we it deteriorates and try to keep it in prime condition. Like physical health, if we let it deteriorate it can lead to a range of problems that can affect our life significantly.

There are times when our mental health may be more affected to the point where we develop a mental illness and require intervention. Although there is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health in the UK, roughly one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Mental health illnesses are also more common amongst students than the general population. Some of the most common mental health illnesses are depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder (manic depression), schizophrenia, personality disorders and eating disorders – although this list is not exhaustive.

Mental health difficulties can be heightened through a lack of established support (friends and family). Students already living with a mental health difficulty can experience difficulties trying to adapt to a new environment and routine.

At the University of Salford we encourage students to disclose any mental health difficulties in order to enable us to offer the best support we can. Students are entitled to support which will help them to access their course on an equal level to their peers.

If you have a mental health illness, contact Disability and Learner Support to arrange an appointment with a Disability Advisor. If appropriate the Disability Adviser will produce a Student Support Plan which sets out the support you are entitled to from your tutors, school and University (medical evidence will be needed to verify that you are entitled to such support).

This page offers self help resources that you may find useful, sites with information relating to mental health and services that you can contact.

Mood Self Assessment – Check your mood This NHS tool is designed to recommend some excellent resources to help you better understand how you feel. You should answer based on how you've been feeling over the last two weeks. You may find that your mood usually goes both up and down, so use this questionnaire to monitor it over time but remember, it is not intended to replace a consultation with a GP if you are struggling.

You can contact the Counselling and Wellbeing Service Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30am to 5:00pm. However you may not be able to access an appointment straight away, you may not be able to visit the campus or you may wish to talk to someone outside of our working hours. In such an instance there are a number of services that you can talk to either about a specific problem you are having or general concerns you have relating to your wellbeing:

Nightline is a confidential listening and information service run for students by students. It offers anonymous, non-judgemental and non-directive support for all callers, regardless of the situation. They are open for calls between 8pm and 8am every night of term, even during the exam period. You can find their contact details on the back of your Student ID Cards.

The Sanctuary is an ‘overnight, every night’ service providing a place of safety and support to adults feeling at crisis point and living with difficulties such as panic attacks, depression and low mood. The service provides high quality, non-clinical support in a non-stigmatising manner. They are open from 11pm until 9am and can be contacted on 0161 637 0808.

SANE runs a national, out-of-hours helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. They are open every day of the year from 6pm - 11pm.

Papyrus can be contacted by young people at risk of suicide or those worried about a young person at risk of suicide. They are a specialist telephone helpline service staffed by trained professionals who give non-judgemental support, practical advice and information. You can contact them on 0800 068 4141 Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm and 7pm – 10pm, Weekends 2pm – 5pm.

Beat helpline is open to anyone who needs support and information relating to an eating disorder, including sufferers, carers, professionals and anyone who wants to find out more about eating disorders. The helpline can be contacted on 0845 634 1414, or for 25s and under the Beat Youthline can be called on local rate number 0845 634 7650 They offer a call back service so each user can save the cost of a call. Both help lines are open Monday to Friday evenings from 4.30pm to 8.30pm and Saturdays 1.00pm - 4.30pm. You can also email.

Samaritans support callers from around the area by phone, face-to-face, from throughout the UK and National Local Number and by email. Their branch is located in Manchester on Oxford Road opposite the Palace Theatre open from 9am to 8:30pm. You can also contact them on 0161 236 8000 with the phone line open 24 hours a day.

Anxiety UK is a charity providing a range of information relating to anxiety and support in the form or phone/email advice and counselling at reduced rates. You can contact their helpline on 08444 775 774 or visit their website for more information.

No Panic is the National Organisation for Phobias, Anxiety, Neurosis, Information and Care. They offer support for sufferers of panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and tranquilliser withdrawal. Their helpline is 0800 138 8889.

Self Help Services is a user led mental health charity, providing services across the North West. The services they provide are aimed at dealing with abuse, alcohol and substance misuse, anger, anxiety, bereavement, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, relationship and family issues, seasonal affective disorder, self esteem and social anxiety. Local to the University is the Energise Centre at Douglas Green Salford M6 6ES but there are centres across the north-west. For more information and session times call 01612327854 or email them.

Self Help Guides produced by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust offer a variety of self help guides on depression, anxiety, low mood, health anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic, post traumatic stress, postnatal depression, self harm and social anxiety. Visit their website to view these self help guides and have the option to download them.

Get Self Help offer a wide range of excellent cognitive behavioural therapy based resources to improve your mental health. Sections include depression, anxiety, paranoia and delusions, coping with suicidal thoughts, bipolar mood management, bulimia and anorexia. One of the strengths of this website is the fact that information is laid out clearly and concisely so it is easy to digest and then focus on improvements.

Overcoming Disordered Eating Part A This self help resource provides information about eating disorders together with strategies to help change problematic behaviours.

Overcoming Disordered Eating Part B This resource follows on from Part A above. It provides techniques and strategies that can help change thinking patterns related to disordered eating.

Coping with depression This resource is designed to provide you with some information about depression and suggested strategies for how you can manage your mood.

Building body acceptance This information package is designed to provide you with some information about body dysmorphic disorder - how it develops, how it is maintained and how to address this problem.

Overcoming health anxiety This resource is designed to provide you with some information about health anxiety, including how it develops, how it is maintained, and how to decrease your health worries and concerns.

Coping with bipolar disorder This information package is designed to provide you with some information about bipolar disorder and suggested strategies for how you can manage your mood.

Coping with panic attacks This resource is designed to provide you with some information about panic attacks and panic disorder and suggested strategies for how you can manage your panic and anxiety.

Coping with social anxiety This information package is designed to provide you with some information about social anxiety and suggested strategies for how you can manage your anxiety in social situations.

Mastering your worries This resource is designed to provide you with some information about chronic worrying and generalised anxiety disorder and suggested strategies for how you can manage your worrying and anxiety.

MIND in Salford provides information and advice, training and services such as advocacy, therapies and volunteering opportunities. They aim to make it possible for people who experience mental health problems to live full lives, and play their full part in society. They are open Mon-Fri 9-5pm at the Angel Centre, Salford, St Philips Place Salford M3 6FA or you can contact them on 0161 8393030. If you visit their main website you can access a wide range of information surrounding mental health, accessing services along answers to pressing mental health queries.

The NHS Choices website is an excellent resource providing a large and varied amount of information surrounding mental health including mood zone videos on low mood, depression, panic attacks and anxiety control techniques. They have webpages for understanding anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), seasonal affective disorder and psychosis as well as many useful links to services both locally and generally.

Students against Depression is a website offering advice, information, guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking. Alongside clinically-validated information and resources it presents the experiences, strategies and advice of students themselves – after all, who are better placed to speak to their peers about how depression can be overcome.

The Mental Health Foundation is committed to reducing the suffering caused by mental ill health and to help everyone lead mentally healthier lives. They help people to survive, recover from and prevent mental health problems by carrying out research, developing practical solutions for better mental health services, campaigning to reduce stigma and discrimination and promoting better mental health for all. Their website is an excellent source of information with guides on how to overcome fear and anxiety, use exercise as a tool against depression and tips for dealing with depression. They also offer a booklet for people with depression, their carers, families and friends, understanding self-harm and a booklet for people who have a mental health problem and for their friends. All items are well worth a look.

42nd Street (not to be confused with the popular Manchester indie nightclub of the same name) provides a range of services to young people including mental health needs assessment, counselling & therapy, individual community mental health support, group work, drop-ins, a helpline, youth work activities, participation opportunities for young people using the service, and a national online question and answer service for young people affected by self-harm.

Emergence is a service user-led organisation supporting all people affected by a diagnosis of personality disorder, whether you are a service user or a carer (which is a family member or friend of a service user).

Personality disorder provides information, resources and learning opportunities for those with a personality disorder and their carers.

Rethink is a leading national mental health membership charity and works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness recover a better quality of life. The website has information on a range of mental health needs from personality disorders through to schizophrenia.

The Silent Cry is a charity to help people to deal with self-harm whether a sufferer, relative or partner.

OCD Action is a leading national charity for people with OCD, body dysmorphic disorder, compulsive skin picking and trichotillomania. Their help and information line is available on 0845 390 6232 or email.

OCD-UK is a charity independently working with and for people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).If you have a query about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, you can contact the OCD-UK advice line support team by calling: 0845 120 3778 or by email.

The SAD Association is a voluntary organisation and registered charity which can offer support, information and advice to sufferers of the condition.

Bipolar UK provides a range of services to enable people affected by bipolar and associated illnesses to take control of their lives. They offer an e-community forum, help you find your local bi-polar support group as well as dedicated support for 18-25 year olds. Visit their website now to find out more.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists provides readable, user-friendly and evidence-based information on various mental health problems, treatments and other topics, regularly updated by psychiatric experts.