Mental Health Support at Surrey

Hello everybody, I hope you are doing great. Welcome as I share another blog post on my experiences at the University of Surrey. This time around, it’s going to be about mental health support at the University of Surrey. Relax and enjoy reading!

British Museum

Upon completing my first semester exam and assessments at the University, I decided to wind out of the stress and take a good care of my mental health by visiting new places in Guildford and London. The British Museum, Trafalgar Square and the National Art Gallery where my first point of call. I set out early on a very beautiful Saturday and got on a 35 minutes train from Guildford to London. On arriving in London, I headed straight to the British Museum and joined the entry queue into the museum which took about 5 to 10 minutes as I had already booked an entry ticket the previous day. At the museum, I saw world history played right in front of me in form of arts, artefacts, books, sculptures e.t.c. From Africa to Asia to Europe, to the Americas it was a tour that took me over 3 hours to complete and there where lots more yet to be seen. Maybe in some other visits, I will explore the other sessions. From the British Museum, I took about  17 minutes walk to Trafalgar Square which is just right in front of the National Art Gallery. There I saw diversity at its peak. Tourist and visitors from all over the world, I have never seen a place as diverse as that. I headed to the Art Gallery on a short tour before catching the train back to Guildford. These experiences were all soothing and relieving. Beyond the cite seeing, lessons learnt from the visits gave me a rekindled hope for greater opportunities to come.

Trafalgar Square/ National Arts Gallery

The following day, I took a long walk with a friend into the farms of Guildford to experience the beauty of natural landscape. About 1 hour walk away from Surrey Sports park is a place called the Puttenham Loop. An area characterised by farms, trees, lake and wildlife such as birds. We walked several kilometres discovering farms, farmhouses, lake, hills, birds, horses and lots more. We were not bothered about getting lost in the woods, we just kept on walking and exploring the natural landscape. We also discovered a huge castle deep inside of the farms. I later found out that the place is known as Loosely Park.

Loosely park in sight.

 After about 2 hours walk, we decided to return home. On our way back, something happened that made us appreciate our experience in the farms even more. We had crossed a pedestrian bridge that crosses over a highway on our way to the farms. While walking on the bridge on our way back, we noticed police vehicles blocking traffic on both lanes. Our curiosity made us wait for a while to see what was happening. We later realized that we were the only ones left on the pedestrian bridge and that the third person a young man in his 20s was up to something. We had noticed him standing on the bridge about 3 hours ago, seeing him there again brought suspicion. We didn’t know what he was up to until two female police officers started walking towards us and then with his crotches, started walking away to evade the police. At that moment, we discovered that he needed help, he has been on the bridge for the past 3 hours and he probably was going through a lot and contemplating on committing suicide until police officers arrived. Thank God they came. Otherwise, he might have done the unthinkable. His life was saved because help came.  For me, visiting new places such as the museum helps me ease off stress and prevent depression, for my friend its spending time close to natural landscape but for the young man and a lot of others, it is giving up on hope. I now see reasons to the presence of dozens of mental health support programmes at the University of Surrey.

After about 2 hours walk, we saw these.

Mental health related issues such as anxiety, depression, emotional stress, low self esteem and so on are not exempted in a university environment. These issues when not properly addressed may result to negative responses such as self-sabotage and sometimes suicide just like the case of the young man we met. The university’s understanding of this result to the presence of a wide range mental health support programmes both on campus and off-campus. For the purpose of this blogpost, below are some of the mental health support programmes available to students and staffs of the University of Surrey:

  1. University Health Centre.
  2. Centre for well-being.
  3. Students’ Union and Support and Nightline.
  4. Peer support.
  5. Chaplaincy.
  6. Other supports from Safe Haven, NHS talking therapies, Samaritans, Student Space, e.t.c.

 These platforms provide a mental health supports like counselling, one-on-one/ confidential support, mindfulness and meditation sessions, mental health awareness workshops and so on. These aim at providing students with the support and wherewithal needed to maintain a sound mental health and wellbeing.

For more information on mental health support programmes at the University of Surrey, visit:
Health and wellbeing support | University of Surrey

To wrap it up, the importance of a good mental health cannot be overemphasised especially for international students who find themselves in a new and diverse environment. As an international student at the University of Surrey, I can attest that all students irrespective of background, without any form of bias have access to mental health support.

Stay tuned for my next blogpost. Until then, cheers!!!