Time To Talk: Let’s Keep The Conversation Going

Posted 4 February 2021
President of the Students' Union, Phoebe, discusses Time to Talk day.
President of the Students' Union, Phoebe, discusses Time to Talk day and gives tips on how to deal with lonliness.

Today is ‘Time to talk day’; it’s an opportunity for us all to take that first step and talk to someone about how we’re feeling. Time to talk is a day created by ‘Time to Change’, a social movement with a goal of ending discrimination of mental health. Time to Change believe in the ‘Power of Small’; the small conversations we have with each other about mental health have the power to make a big difference to our lives. The more we keep the conversation about mental health going, the more we break down the myths surrounding mental illness and mental distress, the more we can break down those barriers that people face when they need help and we can put an end to the isolation and loneliness felt by so many people every day.

Time to talk day might not be the event it can normally be, but those conversations are vital, now more than ever. We know that the global pandemic has seen a surge in mental health problems, particularly for young people. I know that for a lot of you, the last year has been challenging to say the least and the latest lockdown in winter has hit even harder but I want you to know that the support is there for you and we, at the Students’ Union and the University, are here to help. If you want to find out more about the support that’s available at the University click here. Alternatively, if you want to find out more about other support you can find a comprehensive list in my most recent ‘Welcome back’ blog here. I particularly recommend the Blurt Foundation FREE self-care resources and the ‘Survive and Thrive’ module on My Journey, both of which are linked in my blog.

I know that things are difficult at the moment but it will pass, I promise. You are not alone in feeling this way, I really struggled too for most of my University experience, but the turning point for me was asking for help. It’s the hardest and scariest step but it really does change everything and you soon realise that there really is light at the end of the tunnel. You can also watch me and Evie, President of Inclusivity, and Kelly Robson from the University Mental Health team talking about self-care and mental health here.

University can be a lonely place for some, whether it is your first year at Hull or whether you are a returner – this year is different from any other. We want to make sure you know how you can help yourself and what advice you can give to others who may need a little support.

From Phoebe, President of the Students' Union

 

If you want to find out more about tackling loneliness, below are some tips to get you started:

Get Involved – Find your tribe, start a campaign, volunteer, attend our one off GIAG events, be part of the student voice, there is so much on offer through your SU. Want to talk to someone about the opportunities? Email us at [email protected] to book a virtual chat with a President or staff member who can help go through what opportunities could suit you.

Stay Active – release those endorphins, find out what you can get involved with at Hull Sport, go for a walk, there is a local park near to the University here, listen to a podcast, your favourite music or take a friend to see the ducks.

Talk – Whether that is with your housemate, a family member or with one of the University or external services listed via the HUSU website here it’s important to know that you are not alone, share how you are feeling with someone you trust. Make use of virtual platforms such as Skype and Microsoft Teams to stay connected to those that are not physically around you, arrange a quiz night, Netflix party or just a coffee and chat.

Sleep – It may seem fun and the ‘done thing’ at Uni to stay up into the early hours but a lack of sleep can be a factor in poor mental health. Check out the NHS guide to sleep and some tips for getting a good nights kip here.

Good Food – Eating balanced meals and giving your body and mind the fuel it needs to get you through your day is really important. Check out Minds top tips here. Why not cook your flat mates a meal and sit down to talk together? You could take it in turns and host ‘Come Dine with Me’ nights? Or cook meals from your favourite country? If you want some inspiration to cook different meals, Bags of Taste is a national charity that can guide you step by step through some amazing recipes, find out more here.

Reach Out – Hull University Unions' Advice Centre is an independent service that can help you if your wellbeing has affected your studies by supporting you with reporting extenuating circumstances, an academic appeal or offer advice if you feel like leaving.

Community – Our local community has some wonderful befriending projects that you can take advantage of to meet other people, virtually or in person from Hull.

  • The Tigers Trust have a new project running called Tigers Team Mates, the aim of the service is to reduce loneliness and isolation through phone calls, organised walks and small group activities. Take a look at their brochure here to find out how to get involved.
  • The Community Church on Newland Avenue in Hull often host online events for crafting, host swap shops and offer free food for the local community. You can find out more about what events they have on offer via their Facebook page here.

Helpful Services – Sometimes we need a helping hand to ensure we can stay connected to our loved ones and can access online teaching. As well as the University IT services, AbilityNet is a charity that provides free IT support to help older people and people with disabilities to use technology. They have a network of friendly volunteers who can help you remotely.