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Breaching the subject of mental health, especially with those closest to you, can be difficult. But, it can make such a difference when you finally have that conversation.

For me, that conversation happened a month ago. I mentioned to a close friend that I was worried about my mum as she has been dealing with some health problems. After further chats, it turned out that her own mum had the same illness. After a lot of hugging (and a few tears), we realised that we weren’t alone in our fears and worries. Now I know I can message her whenever I am stressed. I know she understands, will listen and reassure me. Equally, I can do the same for her. All it took was a conversation, admitting that I was worried and now we can be there for each other. The issues are still there and can still affect my life at University, but I know that I am not alone.

University is amazing, but can also be overwhelming. It is so important to talk to those around you, your housemates, your family or if you are really struggling, the Wellbeing Centre. It is important to keep an awareness of those around you and their mental health. Noticing if someone is not eating properly, sleeping poorly or drinking more alcohol than usual are just some of the things that could show that they have something going on under the surface that they should talk about. All it takes is an “are you okay?”. They might not talk to you initially, but it lets them know that you are there when they need that conversation. I know from experience that simple things like, “if you want to go for coffee and talk about it let me know” can make such a difference.

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