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October 5, 2014 | by  | in Opinion VUWSA |
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Exec Column

Stephanie Gregor | Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer

Mental health is a real issue for all too many people at this university. According to the Student Experience Survey, 45 per cent of us have poor or very poor mental wellbeing.

I am one of that 45 per cent. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with depression and some weird form of psychosis (they’re not really sure what). For a long time, this made me feel really isolated and weird, and it was hard to get support in a Hall environment where I was meeting new people all the time and didn’t have an established support network. I was dealing with lots of new feelings and didn’t have anyone to talk to about them – that was very difficult to deal with.

Since leaving the Hall, although things haven’t gotten better, I’ve found myself more capable of dealing with it. I have fantastic flatmates and wonderful friends, which means that I have people to talk to about things that are going on with me, or to just hang out and talk shit with if that’s what I need.

Surviving day to day is hard, but sometimes that’s all you can do, and that’s okay. You can find yourself in dark places, and that’s okay too. There are so many people out there who are able to help you, and lots of them are at Victoria. The team at Health and Counselling are great, and there to help if things get really bad.

If things aren’t super-bad and you just need some community and friendship, then VUWSA is pretty legit. Stress Free Study Week is just around the corner and a great way to hang out with other people, and there are also puppies, so that’s a good time all round. The pressures of jobs and being a student, and just life, really, are pretty intense, and this can be a good way to unwind.

Remember, uni is not everything. It’s not the entire world. There are things beyond uni, and there are also things that are way more important than a grade – like your wellness. Do things that make you happy, and if nothing makes you happy, do things that make you less sad. Things will be alright in the end; at least, I really hope so.

 

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