Is it Time to Talk? World Mental Health Day 2023

How can you look after yourself at University?

At UoB, we’re committed to making mental health and wellbeing a priority. Every year, we join organisations and communities around the world to celebrate World Mental Health Day on 10 October.  

Not only is it a day to raise awareness but it’s also a chance to tackle the stigma, and just talk about it – how we need to look after our mental health, and how important it is to get help if you’re struggling.  

Mental health can affect anyone, anywhere and at any time. We all have times when we feel down, stressed, or anxious when dealing with life’s ups and downs. This time of year can increase these feelings for students.  

Most of the time those feelings pass but sometimes, they don’t, and that’s okay. 

Is it Time to Talk? We’re here to support you 

Speaking up about your problems, however big or small, can make a big difference to how you feel, but it isn’t always easy. We’ve come a long way in being more open about how we feel but sadly, there’s still a stigma attached to the term ‘mental health’ – either in the form of embarrassment, shame, or denial. And the reality is that not talking about it can prevent people from speaking up.  

Whatever you’re going through, it’s important to know that you’re not a burden, and there are lots of different people and services you can turn to for support. 

We can offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like by logging in to the UBHeard Portal, through the Live Chat, or by calling on 0800 368 5819 (Freephone UK*) or 00353 1 518 0277 (International). You can also text ‘Hi’ to 074 1836 0780 for SMS and WhatsApp support (standard rates apply).  

You can also speak to a Wellbeing Officer in your school who can provide you with practical and emotional support, find contact details for your Wellbeing Officer(s). They’re here to help, so don’t be afraid to be open and honest. We also have weekly Pause@UoB drop-in sessions every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at The Lodge at North Gate.

If you’re struggling with a long-term problem, or have a specific mental health condition, ongoing therapeutic support can help you to process your thoughts and feelings in a safe space. You can register with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team, who are staffed by experienced therapeutic practitioners who can help you explore any difficulties you may be experiencing, and work with you on a regular basis to develop effective strategies to overcome them. 

Please note a full list of our support services and resources are listed on our Time to Talk? page

If you’re worried about your mental health, making an appointment to see your GP (doctor) is also a good place to start. If you’re worried about speaking to a medical professional, don’t be. It’s part of their job to support us with our mental health. If you haven’t yet registered with a GP near to your term-time address, then visit our ‘Registering with a doctor’ page on the student intranet to find out how to do so.  

Starting a conversation 

Starting a conversation, either for yourself or for your friends and family, about mental health isn’t always easy and can feel challenging, particularly when you’re discussing sensitive topics.  

There’s no right way to have these conversations. Different approaches work better for different people, and nobody gets these conversations perfectly right, but making the effort to simply listen is a great start. If you’ve noticed something’s up, you can start by simply checking in – ask how they are, and if there’s any way you can help.  

They might want to open up, or they might not. Whatever the outcome, it’s important to just be there for each other. And remember, it’s okay to not know what to say. If someone needs urgent medical attention due to their mental health, direct them to their nearest GP, the nearest A&E, or your local NHS Urgent Mental Health helpline which can offer 24-hour advice, support, and assessment. 

Hear from our students 

Sometimes, you just need to hear from other students who might be in the same boat as you or are experiencing the same thoughts and feelings. That’s why we’ve asked some of our Student Content Shapers to share some of their tips on how they protect their mental health. 


Professional Services