CIT Students' Union
Looking after your Mental Health
It’s easy to overlook the importance of mental health and the effects it has on you and your body. Mental Health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with the ups and downs of life. Mental health affects us all. How we think and how we feel about ourselves and our lives impacts on our behaviour and how we cope in tough time. It affects our ability to make the most of the opportunities that come our way and play a full part amongst our family, workplace, community and friends. It is also closely linked with our physical health. We all have mental health, and it is important that we look after it. Mental health varies from maintaining positive mental health to time or distress and periods of depression to very serious mental health illnesses.
Mental Health or Mental Illness presents in many forms and at various points in our lives. The following are various forms of mental health or mental illness, click on each bullet point for more information:
- Anxiety, panic and shyness
- Understanding schizophrenia and psychosis
- Eating disorders
- Suicide and self-harm
- Bullying and personal safety
- Loss and grief
What is Depression?
The term ‘eating disorder’ refers to a complex, potentially life-threatening condition, characterised by severe disturbances in eating behaviours.
Eating disorders can be seen as a way of coping with emotional distress, or as a symptom of underlying issues.
- Eating disorders are not primarily about food
- People can and do recover
- Eating disorders can affect anyone
Eating disorders are characterised by a variety of disordered eating behaviours such as:
- Self-starvation - by fasting and/or food restriction
- Purging - by self-induced vomiting, over-exercising, or laxative abuse
- Bingeing - by consuming quantities of food beyond what the body needs to satisfy hunger
An eating disorder can be very destructive, both physically and emotionally, and people can get trapped into the destructive cycle of the eating disorder without knowing how to cope with it.An eating disorder is not just about food and weight, but also about a person’s sense of who they are.Treatment of an eating disorder will require attention to both the physical and the psychological/emotional aspects of the person. Treatment must always include respect for and sensitivity for the overall well-being of the person.The distress of a person experiencing an eating disorder, whether or not it is acknowledged, may have a considerable impact on family and friends.
At any given point in time, most college students are stressed about something, but sometimes stress is not a bad thing. Stress can be used to motivate yourself to finish those assignments on time or to knuckle down and study for an upcoming exam. Stress can however be dangerous and harmful to your body and mind if you don’t control it. While having stress in your life is normal and often unavoidable, being stressed is something you can control. The following are tips on how to manage stress and to get the most out of your college
- Eat Healthy:Yes fast food and junk food are convenient, and plentiful, but they don’t set you up to do your best. Fuelling yourself with nutritious foods can boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight and help you feel better about yourself. Eating well will increase your physical, mental, and emotional stamina. Be sure to keep your fridge stocked with fresh fruits and veggies, and high-protein snacks, and be sure that your main meals are healthy and balanced. Keep hydrated also drink plenty of water!
- Sleep:Students are notorious for not getting enough sleep, due to having busy schedules, late night cramming, and many late nights out. Sleep problems can affect every aspect of our lives – our relationships, our mood, our ability to concentrate, function and complete day to day tasks. All of these factors have a major impact on our health and wellbeing. Try and get eight hours sleep a night to stay healthy. Staying up and studying all night before an exam is a poor choice - your brain won’t be working at its best and you will be feeling very tired and unable to concentrate, the next day. Power naps are great, they can really help rejuvenate your body before heading out/ study session.
- Excercise:One of the best ways of relieving stress is exercise even as simple as going for a walk. Not only does it improve your health and help you to de-stress, it also relaxes tense muscles and helps you to sleep. Exercise also causes the release of endorphins into your blood stream. These endorphins make you feel happy and positively affect your overall sense of well-being.
- Breathe: When you are feeling stressed you don’t think as clearly as you normally would. A quick way to calm down is to practice your breathing exercises. These can be done virtually anywhere and at any time. You are stress free in minutes and are useful when experiencing anxiety before or even during exams, as well as other times when stress feels overwhelming.
- Set Goals: Goals can be very helpful as they give you something to aim for, work towards and see light at the end of the tunnel. Set many smaller goals or milestones, like steps toward the large goal. You can set goals for when you want to have projects or assignments completed for or aim towards an average you would like to achieve by Christmas for example. Goals like this can help you to motivate yourself and stay focused throughout the year.
Where and who do I go to for help?
The most important thingto do it to TALK about how you are feeling and what you are going through. Talk to a friend, family member, lecturerwho ever you feel most comfortable talking to. Even just talking to someone else about what you are going through can help. There are many support services both within CIT and externally that can help you.
The Careers and Counselling Service is a free, integrated and confidential service available to all full-time, registered students and apprentices while attending the Institute. The Service is committed to supporting and encouraging students to reach their academic and personal potential during their time at the Institute. The Service offers Career Guidance, Educational Guidance and Personal Counselling.
The integrated Careers and Counselling Service operates predominately on an appointment basis, and is located on the second floor of the Student Centre, Bishopstown Campus.
The Service is also available to students of the other CIT campuses.
Students often seek help with problems related to stress, bereavement, depression, lack of motivation, addiction, eating problems, relationship or family, sexuality, academic or study.
The Counselling Service offers:
- A free and confidential service.
- One-to-One counselling provided by one of our team of qualified and experienced Counsellors.
- An initial assessment to identify your counselling needs followed by a fixed number of sessions (usually six). Each session lasts for 45 minutes.
- Support while you explore personal, social and academic issues.
Based on the 2nd floor of the Student Centre. Appointments can be made with the Administrator by calling into the front desk or by telephone on (021) 4335772
8.30am – 4.30pm during term only.
Check out our website: www.mycit.ie/counselling for more information
The medical centre has a doctpr who specialises in Mental Health and is only €10 for the doctor or free to see the nurse with a Student Card.
The Medical Centre, situated in the Student Centre on the Bishopstown Campus is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am – 5.00pm.
Secretary: Marian Walsh Tel: 433 5780 for appointments and other queries.
- Bodywhys (Support Group for those affected by eating disorders)
PO Box 105, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
T: 1890 200 444 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- AWARE (Support Group for those affected by Depression)
Helpline 1890 303 302 (Seven days 10am-10pm. Thurs to Sun, the helpline also operates after 10pm)
Confidential emotional support for those who are despairing or suicidal, 24 hours a day by telephone, email, letter or face to face
7/8 Coach St., Cork Call us: 116 123 Text us: 087 2 60 90 90 email: email@example.com
Pieta House Cork
Highfield Lawn, Model Farm Road, Bishopstown
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 9am to 5pm
Wednesday: 9am to 8pm
Saturday: 10.00 am to 2.00 pm
-For Low Cost Counselling call 087 799 8602 Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm
-Suicide Bereavement Support 087 798 6844 Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm
-Farm and Rural Stress Helpline 1800 742 645
If you are ever feeling stressed or have any worries, there is a wide community of support available to you. You can find information on a lot of these in the Students’ Union Office. Remember ''Mental Health Campaign” in November