Mental health and wellbeing support for students during lockdown

Sophie Wilson tells our sixteenth lockdown story of how the community of the University is pulling together to help those in need and promote mental wellbeing.

Sophie Wilson
1st May 2020

Both student-led groups and the Students’ Union (NUSU) are helping those in lockdown improve their mental health and wellbeing.

One of these student-led support services is Nightline. While the lockdown means that volunteers are unable to offer their normal telephone-based service, Nightline is now operating a instant messaging service which runs every night from 6pm until 12am. This is open for students to talk to somebody about any issues that they are battling with, whether that be about missed deadlines or mental health struggles. They state that it is a “safe place to talk about all your troubles or just a friendly ear to listen”. Students can access the instant messaging service by logging into the NUSU website here.

Nightline is just one way that students are helping out, however, and the Students’ Union is on hand with support during this difficult time. Stating that they are there for students and are “committed to supporting you in living your best life”, there is the understanding that “as a busy student, your mental health and wellbeing can sometimes be affected”. 

The Permission to Pause Campaign is launching on Monday, and it is taking place in May and June this year. The campaign is all digital because of Covid-19, and it is said to include:

“Virtual dog cafes, free workouts, Quizzes, Netflix Parties”, and even video calling the cows on Leazes field. 

There are five weeks of activities lined up, which have all been organised by Sara, the Welfare and Equality Officer. In place of the usual petting zoo on campus, the first day features a Zoom dog and cat call, where participants are encouraged to get their furry friends close to the camera. The day after, meditation will take place followed by an online quiz. 

Designed to keep students busy and to give them something to do during this troubling times, the campaign intends to inject fun into the lives of those stuck inside working, and also to ensure that students’ mental health remains a priority. 

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