New recognition for meeting mental health standards in universities

The Department of Education has announced that universities will be awarded with a new recognition for meeting mental health requirements.

At the Charlie Watkins Foundation, we are really pleased to see the potential for university students to get this kind of support.

Students across the UK deserve to have a better system in place to encourage them to break their silence and talk about their mental health. This is what we hope to achieve through our Chat with Charlie services in conjunction with Mid and North East Essex Mind.

It is also fantastic to hear that consideration is being given to an opt-in requirement for universities so that they can have permission to share information on a student’s mental health with parents or a trusted person.

Read the full story on gov.uk

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Where can I get support?

It’s exam time across the UK, which means it’s a heightened period for young people to get stressed and anxious. There is an incredible amount of pressure to do well, sometimes the added adrenaline works in our favour. But it can also get too much for us, and we need some help and relief from it all. If you’re struggling with your mental health or wellbeing in general, don’t suffer in silence. Look at the list below of what support is available for you.

1. Look into your options

Most universities will have a wellbeing service for students. You can navigate to your student union website to see what is available to you. Our first project as a foundation is , which is an online platform where you can log on and speak to someone about your mental health via an online chat. At the moment, it’s only available to students at the University of Essex, but it is hoped that this service will be rolled out nationwide in time. You can also benefit from local support groups by exchanging mutual support and stories. Just type into google local support groups near me to find out what’s available to you. Your GP can also recommend groups/ one-on-one support for mental health.

2. Speak to someone you can trust

This could be your parents, a family member or a favourite teacher/lecturer. Confiding in someone you trust can help you come to terms with the fact that you’re struggling and in turn make it easier to deal with. Some people you confide in may be feeling the exact same way as you! If you’re speaking to a teacher, they might be able to put special measures in place to ensure you’re feeling comfortable and secure when it comes to taking your exams.

3. If you’re in crisis, here’s what you do

If you’re an adult and you need more urgent help, you can call the Samaritans at any time on 116 123. It’s free to call and they’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you’re a child, you can talk to someone via ChildLine on 0800 1111. If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or feel like you might seriously harm yourself, visit A&E.

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