To close out our day of discussing the silver linings of our Postgraduate Researcher’s work, and how they keep their heads up and stay motivated, we thought we’d offer a note about help.
PhD students are more likely to suffer from neglect, isolation, feelings of fraudulence and performance anxiety under pressure. They face an insecure economic future, and an increasingly unstable job market. It’s no wonder that mental health issues are on the rise amongst this demographic – and it’s time that we opened up the door to the fact that Higher Education has problems. We have to confront these painful truths and reach out to help. Institutions owe their students and their staff the appropriate resources and services to help them deal with mental health & wellbeing.
The University of Bristol offers a comprehensive counselling service complete with a list of group therapy sessions and personal wellbeing workshops. It also has its own physical library and virtual resource centre. We also subscribe to the Big White Wall campaign, and recommend this online resource for anyone struggling to express themselves or reach out about a pressing issue that has been weighing them down.
The city of Bristol also has a host of services, mindfulness groups, helplines and charities available for all manner of support issues. Below is a brief, collated list of free helplines that are available (mostly) 24/7 that deal with some of the most prevalent issues PGRs tend to face in terms of mental illness and emotional support. This is by no means comprehensive, and it certainly doesn’t cover the entire range of issues that any individual may face. See National Mind’s tips for everday support, and this list of Local Mental Health Charities for further information.
- Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/aa-meetings/Find-a-Meeting | 0117 926 5520
- Beat: Beating Eating Disorders http://www.b-eat.co.uk/ | 0845 634 1414
- Bipolar UK: http://www.bipolaruk.org.uk/ | 020 7931 6480
- Bristol Mind: bristolmind.org.uk/ | 0808 808 0330
- Cruse Bereavement: cruse.org.uk/Bristol/ |0844 477 9400
- Men’s advice Line – Support for Men in Abusive Relationships: mensadviceline.org.uk | 0808 801 0327
- Narcotics Anonymous: http://www.ukna.org/index.php | 0117 924 0084
- National Domestic Violence Helpline: http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/ | 0808 2000 247
- National Drugs Helpline: talktofrank.com/ | 0800 776 600
- No Panic: nopanic.org.uk/ | 0808 808 0545
- Rethink Advice and Information Service: rethink.org | 0845 456 0455
- Samaritans: samaritans.org | 116 123
- Shelter: shelter.org.uk/ | 0808 800 4444
- Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide: uk-sobs.org.uk/ | 0844 561 6855
- Victim Support: victimsupport.org.uk | 0845 30 30 900
Lastly, if you feel that your needs are not being met, please speak up. Never hesitate to get in touch if you don’t know where to turn, because there is always help at hand.