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May 22, 2017 | by  | in Editorial |
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Editors’ Letter

It’s approaching that time of semester when the pressure of assignments builds up and everything can seem overwhelming and too much. It is important in these moments to attempt to gain perspective, though this can seem impossible when you’re in the thick of it.

It can help to physically change your setting. Going for a walk can help; breathing in fresh air and looking at something other than a computer screen can give you space from your overwhelming workload. Watering a plant with a drink bottle, or having a conversation with a friend can also help. But some days, to tell the truth, these things won’t — you might still feel blue.

Managing your mental health is a very personal thing and something we both struggle with at times.

Seeking professional help is nothing to be ashamed of but, as recent media attention has reiterated, resources are limited and under pressure. The announcement by Student Counselling that the services that will best meet students needs will be considered after six counselling sessions was a communications fuck up, and it is important to reiterate what Pam Thorburn told us: “We would never, ever cut a student off to the services they need.”

However this doesn’t deny that the sector as a whole is seriously under-resourced. Student Counselling at VUW is funded from your Student Services Levy, while Student Health, also funded by the levy, receives additional support from the government. University counselling services should receive adequate government funding and that they don’t just highlights how low mental health has been on this government’s list of priorities.

We thought we should use our space this week to acknowledge the desperate need for better mental health services. And to acknowledge that university can be tough, this time can be tough, and seeking help is okay.

To provide a distraction from the pressure of assignments, two of the pieces this week attempt to take you out of Wellington — right now soaking in rain and hemmed in with cloud — to the sun and dust of the South Coast in summer, and into the cool mists of the Tararua ranges.

Look after yourselves and stay warm.

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