Masculinity and Mental Health

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This guide has been created as part of the Rethink Mental Illness Step Up Universities project, which is funded by the City Bridge Trust. The scheme uses students’ real-life experiences to try and foster a positive mental health community and help other students with their mental health. This guide has been created by Bobby, Daniel, Dylan and Ken, with illustrations from Dylan Wilson. We would also like to say thanks to UCL, Students’ Union UCL, UWL, UWL Students’ Union, The University of Middlesex, MDX Students’ Un- ion, University Arts London Students’ Union, SOAS University, SOAS Students’ Union and London Metropolitan University. Additionally, we would like to thank all of our student mentors for their input into the creation of this guide.

May Gabriel, Project Manager Step Up Universities Rianna Fleming, Project Officer Step Up Universities

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Introduction to Content Creators

Hello, I’m Dan, recently I graduated from UCL where I studied Human Geography. Over the last three years, during my time at university, I have encountered multiple challenging experiences of mental health. This has undoubtedly forced me to confront my perceptions of masculinity and mental health. Talking about mental health as a man is no easy feat but hopefully by committing myself as a mental health advocate, I can do my small part to change this narrative and open safe spaces of dialogue for other men. I hope you enjoy this Zine and find it illuminating, because I surely have!

Hello, I’m Bobby. I’m currently completing my MRes in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL. I’m an international student from the United States where I’ve worked in the mental health field for over 6 years. I’m passionate about raising awareness and reducing stigma around mental health issues, including topics of masculinity. I hope this Zine resonates with its readers, and we recognize its contents impact everyone either directly or indirectly.

Hi, I’m Ken and I am currently finishing up my MSc Psychology of Education degree at the University College London. As a male, international student aspiring to be a clinical psychologist, I’ve always felt that we need more male voices in the mental health discussion. I hope that this Zine content can help spark conversations about how we can redefine masculinity.

Hi! I’m Dylan Wilson, a soon-to-be graduate of UAL’s BA Animation course at LCC. I joined the Step Up Champions scheme as a way to educate myself in mental health and to reinforce skills that pertain to areas of my professional career. My mental health is something I always aspire to improve and work on, I think we all have some things to work out and that’s more than okay. I’ve enjoyed so much working for Rethink Mental Illness as an illustrator/ layout designer for these quarantine zines and now I’m writing on some things I’ve learned in life and I hope it can resonate with some of you!

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Contents Page

Intro What is Masculinity Toxic Masculinity and Emotional Development Red Flags Crying Like a Girl Media Portrayals of Masculinity Redefining Masculinity Social Support Map Running With Vulnerability Mindful Breathing Embracing Femininity Resource Page Getting Help

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Introduction

The link between masculinity and mental health is starting to become a huge topic of conversation in our society. The traditional attributes of masculinity - being strong, stoic and independent - have created a toxic environment inwhichmen (andmasculine people) struggle to get the support that they need to manage their mental wellbeing (both professionally and from loved ones). Whilst this is now starting to be challenged by those who wish to redefine a healthier masculinity, stigma is still rife within our society, meaning that men (and masculine people) are still experiencing poor mental health outcomes and high suicide rates (Men’s Mental Health Forum, 2016) In this zine, we attempt to redefinemasculinity aswe know it, by illuminating and exploring its different facets and how it is intertwined with mental health. We explore the intersection of race and gender, how to embrace femininity, redefining masculinity through trust and transparency, as well as how toxic masculinity and media portrayals influence masculine identity and emotional development. We hope that the content in this zine resonates with you and provides you with some takeaways to help support your mental wellbeing and solidify your understanding of masculinity.

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What is Masculinity

Masculinity can be described as the type of attributes and behaviours that are prescribed for men (and masculine people) in our society (Kimmel, 2001). It informs how men should think, act and be. It is difficult to underpin exactly what masculinity looks like, because it means something different everyone and is influenced by your race, ethnicity, age, where you are in the world and what type of culture you have surrounding you. It is also something that changes over time, matching the societal thinking and gender roles of the period. Masculinity in itself is not positive or negative, but how it is perceived and shaped by others can create toxicity that is damaging. Whilst we see that masculinity is increasingly being redefined by young men and masculine people, there is still a dominant model of masculinity within our society that is harmful to men. It prescribes men to look and act in a certain way and rejects anything deemed feminine. This toxic masculinity discourages the display of any emotion aside from anger, and also encourages men to engage in behaviour that will demonstrate the man as being ‘dominant’ and not needing support. This toxic masculinity is reinforced from a young age with common phrases such as ‘boys don’t cry’, ‘don’t cry like a girl’ and ‘be a man’. When emotions and feelings are constantly dismissed and belittled, the young person learns that their emotions are not allowed or valid – feelings which continue well into adulthood. This lack of demonstrating emotions can lead to emotional dysregulation which can lead to depression and other mental health problems. Another outcome of toxic masculinity on mental health, is that even when men begin to exhibit signs of depression or ill mental health, they are not likely to seek help as their feelings and emotions have been invalidated by society.

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Men are at the forefront of the mental health pandemic, and it is so important to reduce the stigma around poor mental health. The statistics below from the Men’s Mental Health Forum outline some key truths about the male mental health crisis. - Just over three out of four suicides (76%) are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35 (Reference: ONS). - 12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders. - Men are nearly three timesmore likely thanwomen to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women - Health and Social Care Information Centre).

- Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs.

- Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Only 36% of referrals to IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) are men.

Toxic Masculinity and Emotional Development What would you do if you were bullied? ’Cry like a girl?’ ‘Be a pussy and tell your parents?’ When I was verbally bullied as a 12 year old, I certainly believed that relying on others was not an option. I chose to just keep quiet and persevere. Mainly because my English was only good enough to understand the malice behind their words, but not articulate enough to fight back with words. Besides, I’ve seen plenty of other male victims being told to ‘Man up’, or simply getting laughed at for ‘Being so sensitive for a guy’. Eventually, the issue was solved when my mum had found me crying in my room and took the issue to the school and the bully’s parents. What was striking was the fact that I felt ashamed that I had to rely on my parents to solve the issue, rather than feeling relieved when everything was over.

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Toxic masculinity can have a significant impact on boys’ and men’s emotional development, emotional management, and mental health. Toxic masculinity is a set of stigma and behaviours that encourage boys and men to push down any emotions aside from anger, be self-sufficient, and/or ‘be tough’. In my example, the emotional coping strategies I took in reaction to distress were in fact psychologically harmful, as I suppressed my emotions to look strong. Breaking free and dealing with your emotions What can you do to break free from these traditional ideologies? Here are some CBT-based techniques that may be helpful in identifying and dealing with your emotions. Understand and acknowledge the red flags (see page 9) in your thoughts and behaviours that are showing you that you are struggling. Some common signs that youmay be suppressing your emotions are disordered sleeping, overworking, expressing anger but no other emotions, becoming reliant on drinking and taking drugs. Create a social support map (see page 16). One of the consequences of toxic masculinity is the fact it shuns men away from seeking support and opening up about their emotions and mental health, often in fear that others will mock them. Building a social support map may be useful to visually identify who you can trust to open up the emotions.

Engage in mindfulness breathing: Next time you feel an uncontrollable anger, try this breathing exercise. This may help you calm down and reassess your situation. (see page 19)

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Red Flags

In a society where men and masculine people are not afforded the opportunity to express their emotions and seek out support when they are struggling, you may find that when you are not coping well, you may feel isolated and unsure of how to manage your wellbeing. Life can be difficult and there will be times that you find yourself struggling and that is okay! However, understanding your red flags and recognising when you are starting to struggle is a great place to start with looking after your wellbeing. It can be a lot harder to manage once you are in the eye of the storm and feeling overwhelmed, so acknowledging the indicators in your thought patterns and behaviours, or red flags, that show that your wellbeing is starting to decline is very important. 1. Try to think about the changes you see in your behaviour and thought patterns before you start to become low in mood, anxious, burnt out or explosive. You may start to see changes in your sleep or eating – too much or too little, you may see yourself expressing anger but suppressing other emotions, you might isolate yourself from others more, you might procrastinate more – we are all different and so our red flags will be different. 2. Once you know what your red flags are and have started to notice when they arise, think about what types of coping strategies will help – if you act quickly, you can prevent your wellbeing from worsening. Your strategies might look like self care – taking time out to recharge, engaging in meditation, yoga or exercise. You might catch up with friends or watch your favourite TV programme. But also, it might look like seeking professional support from a therapist or changing your medication – we are all unique and have different needs, all of which are valid.

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3. Share these red flags with the people in your support network (see page 16) - sometimes you can’t deal with everything on your own and that is okay! If your support network understands your red flags, they can help you look out for them and provide you with the support that you need. Swapping your red flags with your friends is a great way for you to start to mutually support each other better and can help to start those difficult conversations about mental health.

Crying like a girl

From a very early age, we’re taught that crying and other similar feminine expressions of emotion are a sign of weakness. I can recount a time when I squealed as a child in reaction to something and my older brother explained to me very simply that boys don’t make these girly squeals - instead, I should make angry, manly grunts or something along those lines. We have both matured a lot past this point, accepting that this is quite an outdated mindset - that we and the world have grown past this point. However, I cannot ignore the effect this had on me later on down the line, as my emotional response to situations would see that instead of acting naturally, my emotions would either divert to anger or nothing at all. When we shut out these very natural and essential emotions and don’t allow ourselves to express, we shut off a side of ourselves that when bottled up can manifest into violent outbursts, extreme low moods, and quite often suicidal thoughts. In the UK, suicide is the number one killer for men aged under 45 and they are three times more likely to die by suicide than women (see resource page for more information). We are disconnected from ourselves, our mental health and from reality. To reconnect with myself, I check in on myself, experience what I need to and finally have that conversation. Which brings me to the title which is to advocate “crying like a girl”. I’m crying like a girl? Great! I have forever aspired to be as in touch with my emotions as girls are - I rely on so many women in my support network when I’m in need and I am very grateful for that. According to the German Society of Ophthalmology, men on average cry 6 - 17 times per year while women cry on average 30 - 64 times - over three times as much as men! Part of crying is about finding an understanding oneself and from this, being able to deal with whatever is thrown at you in life, more effectively.

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If you’re like me and you need advice on how to cry, here are some tips:

1. Here is a nice read, exploring how to cry and why it is important to do so.

2. As a child of the internet and a lot of visual media, I find it handy watch my favourite movies, series and music that elicit the desired effect. I can personally recommend Khruangbin - So We Won’t Forget which is beautifully tragic and sets me off every time. 3. Try finding that support from a friend or yourself to create a space to just give in to those emotions. It is easier when you are at ease and in a comfortable and familiar space.

Media portrayals of masculinity

There are many conversations we still need to have about mental health - each one hard to tackle and sometimes appear seemingly fruitless. But each conversation teaches us something, and every interaction in itself is important. We must teach ourselves the difference between innate characteristics and societal constructions when attempting to define or even understand masculinity and how we can use this understanding to be more mentally healthy in future. The media plays a huge role in defining social standards and influences what we deem the acceptable or ‘right’ way to be or act. Despite media portrayals of masculinity slowly changing and evolving over time, our screens are still saturated with the traditional, one-dimensional view of the strong, emotionless, heroic man, that we must continue to challenge and redefine. This conversation explores how media portrayals impacted our understanding of our masculine identity growing up.

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Redefining Masculinity

As a boy and now as a man, it has always struck me that seeking support, as it’s traditionally portrayed, would threaten my identity of masculinity. A large portion of my claim to manhood centres around strength. Physical force, mental resilience, and emotional consistency define my cognitive structure concerning what it means to be a man. These qualities, although undeniably desirable for anyone, preclude my willingness to talk openly and directly about my problems and emotions. Doing so would suggest I am not strong enough to deal with them on my own, which could be detrimental to how others see me, and more importantly, how I perceive myself. When I have sought out help in the past, the focus is on solutions. An identity of strength is supported by neglecting the “how am I feeling” and focusing on the “how do I fix it”. Solutions are evidence of resilience. Acknowledging an undercurrent of inner turmoil suggests a weakness which permits the turmoil’s existence. Understanding and processing becomes impossible without acknowledgment. Furthermore, energy spent on anything other than strengthening, improving, and progressing is unavailing, and it directly opposes the structure of masculinity. Trust, transparency and courage Continually redefining my masculinity, specifically the idea of strength, requires trust and courage. Transparency into my inner world risks judgment from those allowed to see. Trusting others requires courage on my end. There is strength in this courage. Showing my “weaknesses”, without a premise to solve them, speaks volumes of my strength. Redefining my strength in this way has been a developmental process. It has taken many tiny steps at opportune times; opportunities otherwise missed when I haven’t been able to admit to myself there’s something wrong.

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Reaching out A social support map (see page 16) can be a useful way to figure out where these opportunities lay. Finding others with similar experiences likely means one’s transparency will be met with understanding. Additionally, I have been repeatedly surprised by others’ ability to understand problems which have previously made me feel isolated and alone. The courage to initiate those conversations is my strength. I strive to continue to redefine my masculinity as it encompasses my vulnerability. Everyone’s experience with their own masculinity will differ from my own. This will also lead to differences, both apparent and nuanced, between definitions of what it means to be a man. These differences are important. There is no one right way to embody masculinity. However, if one’s definition prevents them from seeking help and support when needed, then redefinition can be used as an opportunity to find one’s true self and true strength.

Social Support Map

Life can be very challenging and from time to time you may find yourself struggling to cope. Sometimes, we can’t always manage our mental wellbeing alone and need to reach out for support from those around us - there is no shame in feeling this way and needing that extra support! However, it can be difficult to know where to turn to, particularly if you are not used to reaching out to others for support. And you may find that as your wellbeing worsens, that you feel more isolated and disconnected from those around you. Something you can try to do at home is map out what your social support network looks like. This can be useful as it can provide you with a clear understanding of who is around you and how they can best support you - so that when you are going through a difficult patch, you know where you can turn to:

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1. Try to figure out who is in your support network – this can be friends, a partner, family members, professional support such as a therapist or a support line such as the Samaritans, a mentor, online communities, etc. 2. Then think about what type of support they provide you with - your parents may provide you with acts of care such as cooking and comfort, whilst your friends may provide a space to vent or lift your mood when you’re feeling low. 3. Where: Sometimes the people in your support network are not always close by, but that doesn’t mean that they are not still an important part of your support network – for example, a friend who lives in a different country. 4. Finally, how do they provide support to you - With your friends who are close by, you may meet up locally to hang out when you need support, but if you are part of an online community, the support will likely take place via social media and forums.

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Running with vulnerability

Over the past few months numerous disturbing videos of black men in America being racially abused and murdered have circulated like wildfire on social media. One such video showed Ahmaud Arbery, a young black man, being pursued and brutally killed in broad daylight – he was racially profiled while on a run in the ‘wrong’ neighbourhood. As a young black man these images have had quite a destructive effect on me - Arbery’s case especially so. I felt unnervingly able to relate to Arbery’s experience, as running had recently become a new lockdown hobby of mine. When running through certain neighbourhoods, I would often feel uncomfortable or hyper aware of my race not ‘fitting in’ with the surrounding area. In some cases, I would be suspicious of others as I tried to guess what strangers thought of me, while racing to get back to ‘safer’ ground. These fears and suspicions are also a direct result of past racist experiences, as well as the racial trauma from online content, such as Arbery’s death. Racial trauma is a form of race-based traumatic stress which may occur ‘as a result of racial harassment, witnessing racial violence, or experiencing systemic racism.’ (Bryant-Davis, & Ocampo, 2006). These experiences can create hidden wounds which accumulate like emotional weights over time. I have found that the less I speak to those around me about my thoughts and feelings, the heavier it feels. That’s why speaking up about the traumatic impact of the online imagery coming out of America was necessary for me. However, these emotional weights are not endemic to racial trauma, they can arise from a myriad of sources of stress and discomfort, particularly other sources of toxic online content, leading to a sense of isolation. Hence, why I want to reflect on how I have found ways of coping with this emotional baggage over the last few months, by building a healthier relationship with my ‘life online’ and starting a dialogue with trusted people in safe spaces.

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Navigating Life Online Recognising when online consumption habits and patterns are becoming detrimental to your mental health can be challenging. Taking time away from social media and giving oneself space is crucial to maintaining a healthy balance with one’s life online. With plenty of educational anti-racism resources online it is easy to feel guilty about taking time away, but in the end valuing and prioritising your own mental health shows you have got your back. Below I have listed some ideas for how you can refine your relationship with your life online. I found that two hours a day without my phone was most useful – here are some of my tips: - Put your phone on aeroplane mode for two hours a day - Unfollow any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself

- Call or video call someone you would normally message - Follow accounts related to your interests and values - Connect with other people through an online community

Reaching out for support Moreover, starting a dialogue with those you feel safe around can also be an invaluable action to help process complex emotional experiences. Finding other people who have similar interests or share similar experiences can be one way to find it comfortable to start the conversation. A social support map (see page 16) is a CBT technique that works by helping you create a space where you can talk openly about your experiences and feelings. With social distancing currently necessary, online/virtual spaces are a great way to find a like-minded community of people, whilst keeping safe. Recognising the power of vulnerability Reaching out for support can mean accepting the vulnerability that we all have within us. Vulnerability can help us to compassionately connect with others. Creating a sense of community with those who may also be struggling is also a great example of how you can mitigate feelings of isolation. Hence, by recognising the power of vulnerability, we can begin to build a community of compassion amongst men and collectively find innovative ways to reduce the emotional weights from personal experiences of stress and discomfort. Since opening up to other black men about my experiences and feelings I have found comfort in the knowledge that I am not alone. I now enjoy running more and feel lighter.

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Mindful Breathing

If you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling increasingly anxious and overwhelmed and you are starting to see a physical response in your body – fast shallow breathing, increased heart rate and shaking - it can be very effective to engage in mindful breathing. Following this simple pursed lip breathing exercise below will quickly help to regulate and slow down your breathing back to normal before you get to the point of hyperventilating. Any physical symptoms you are experiencing will start to fade away and you will start to feel more in control again.

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Embracing Femininity

Platonic relationships with women An important perspective to draw upon when determining our own masculinity and its effect on the way we think, is the female/ feminine approach. Growing up with three sisters and one older brother meant having a lot of influence from different figures - the majority of which were women in my formative years. This has led to me being a rather effeminate man at the age of 23 at an arts university, with a largely female-based circle of friends. This can be hard to reconcile for some who are still very old fashioned and not ready to accept platonic friendships between people of different genders - particularly when considering said platonic friendships connecting over dinner, going to a spa or clothes shopping - activities and spaces that are still heavily gendered. However I would ask us all to examine why gender should matter. When we are learning so much about gender identity, I think it’s important to be examining our relationship to converse and engage with people of every spectrum to better figure out who you are and where you sit. Zodiacs, Myers-Briggs and Emotional Science The way I approach my mental health is to get out of my head and try to understand why I’mthinking or feeling a certainway, in a controlled, logical, pattern-recognising way. Often what men neglect in their life are things like the Zodiac, Myers-Briggs and other personality type assignments that attempt to contextualise something as ephemeral as emotions into bite-sized chunks of rich, qualitative data, donning the term “Emotional science”. To be clear, I am not saying these are methods of absolute fact, but my point is that these tools can be used for a stronger understanding of your identity. For instance, exclaiming “I’m such a Libra!”, when one is doing something very Libra is certainly comical however, arguably, phrases like this are indicative of a moral perspective to do with self-acceptance and a sense of this identity. I’ve found that talking about these things with people you are close to can be good practise in reaching a healthy mindset towards one’s own emotions. However, it must be said, that certain distorted perspectives that accompany that self-acceptance could lead one to believe things to be acceptable or ‘just the way things are’ when others might see problems with it. For this reason, I try to check in with friends about how things are, speaking honestly and openly about how I feel about things and putting thoughts into words.

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Putting thoughts into words The TEDx talk by Gareth Griffith (see Resources Page) talks about the idea of having a thought that you don’t put into words. If we don’t externalise how we are feeling internally, then it will stay there as an idea that you accept, and nothing will be there to challenge it. What I interpret from this is; if we don’t talk about our mental health, we are basically doomed to repeating the same thought processes, getting stuck in a rut and never growing or dealing with these thoughts and feelings. Putting thoughts into words can be a great first step towards understanding oneself and developing a healthy mindset towards this, and it doesn’t need to be great admissions of guilt or a big poem about how you feel inside, it can be something like a conversation of personality types, going through yours with your friends and identifying each other’s. I have different sources of emotional support - not assigning a person to a feeling per se - but testing the waters and finding which people in your life can deal with these various conversations and who you want to have those conversations with can be a great first step to take during this journey.

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Resource Page

Here are some further resources and men’s charities that we think might be of use to you:

Why Boys Don’t Cry – Gareth Griffith’s TedX talk

Black Mental Health resources document that comprises therapy options, community and safe spaces, resources and podcasts to support the emotional and mental side of dealing with racial trauma. Campaign Against Living Miserably: or CALM is a movement that raises awareness of how young men are affected by suicide. They have hotlines and webchats that you can use for support whenever you feel you need it and lots of useful resources and information. Men’s Mental Health Forum: Has some more in depth statistics about men’s mental health and the barriers to seeking support. Humen: A charity that creates an anonymous, non-clinical space that men can go to talk, listen and support each other every Monday at 6:30PM. The 1 hour session is free to any men that wish to attend and you don’t need to know any mental health terms or anything like that – it is open to all who wish to speak openly and confidentially. StrongMen: A charity that helps men deal with the emotional and mental struggles that come with dealing with bereavement. They fund breaks and trips so that men who are all dealing with bereavement are able to connect in the same environment. UK Men’s Shed Association: Help men to connect and talk through team activities such as woodwork that take place inside a shed or an equivalent space. References: 1. Men’s Health Forum. 2016. Key Data: Mental Health. https://www. menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-mental-health 2. Kimmel. 2001. Masculinities and Femininities International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. 3. Bryant-Davis, T., & Ocampo, C. (2006). A therapeutic approach to the treatment of racist-incident-based trauma. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 6(4), 1-22.

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Getting Help

In the first instance, we would recommend seeking help through your university’s welfare services, as often this is the quickest way to receive psychological help and advice as a student. Crisis Care If you or someone you know is experiencing a wellbeing crisis and/or wants to end their life, please contact emergency services (999) or your GP as soon as possible. If you or the person feels they cannot keep themselves safe, stay with someone until help arrives. Please know that there is no right or wrong way to talk about suicidal feelings. The most important thing is to seek support so that you or the person you are concerned about do not have to struggle with those feelings alone. If suicidal feelings become intense or develop into urges and/or plans please seek emergency support as soon as possible. Talking Therapies Therapy for common disorders such as depression and anxiety are now widely available across England thanks to the Improving Access to Therapies (IAPT) services. Each borough or locality has its own therapy service which can vary in size, waiting times, and therapeutic options available. The most commonly available therapy is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Most services have a local website where you can look up how to get access to their service. Some require referrals via a GP, whilst others accept self-referrals. * Mental Health Referrals Adults aged 18 and over need to access Adult Mental Health Services. Both Adults and CAMHS services provide support for depression, problems with food, self- harm, abuse, violence or anger, bipolar, schizophrenia and anxiety, and more. There are local NHS services around the UK, with teams made up of nurses, therapists, psychologists, support workers and social workers, as well as other professionals. You can refer yourself for an assessment with either service to see what help you could get. We would suggest initially visiting your local GP to see what help can be offered to you there. To find therapies in your local area, please go to http://bit.do/findtherapynhs *

*due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19 referrals may be slower than usual.

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There is also a lot of help and support that you can get online: www.rethink.org

Rethink Mental Illness helps millions of people affected by mental illness by challenging attitudes, changing lives. Website contains A-Z factsheets on conditions, treatments, living with mental illness also information for carers. Advice line 0300 5000 927 Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm www.thecalmzone.net CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a health promotion charity with the aim of reducing male suicide in the UK. Website contains helpful information and ways to get involved.Helpline 0800 58 58 585pm to midnight, 7 days www.papyrus-uk.org Site focused on preventing young suicide with dedicated sections on resources for young people and their friends. Hopeline UK 0800 0684141 Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm www.talktofrank.com Web-based information as well as an email service and helpline. Website contains A-Z of drugs and advice on what to do if you are worried about a friend. Helpline 0300 123 6600, 2pm to 6pm

www.lifesigns.org.uk Site that gives guidance and support around self- harming.

www.nightline.ac.uk/want-to-talk A confidential listening, support and practical information service for University students You can talk to them about anything – big or small – in complete confidence without judgement. Call (+44)207 631 01016pm to 8am BST every night of term www.nopanic.org.uk No Panic helps people who experience Panic Attacks, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and other related anxiety disorders including those people who are trying to give up Tranquillizers. Helpline 0844 967 4848, 7 days 10am to 10pm www.mind.org.uk Mind is a mental health charity offering both frontline services and online information. A-Z information about mental health and information and support can be found on their website. Info line 0300 123 3393 Legal Advice line 0300 466 6463 www.samaritans.org Samaritans provide a helpline for people wanting assistance to talk about issues related to their wellbeing or any other problem troubling them. Helpline 08457 909090, 24hrs, 7 days a week https://www.studentminds.org.uk/ The student minds website has a wealth of information and resources about being a student and managing your mental health as well as information if you are concerned about a friend.

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