Student mental health is an important issue to address in higher education. Having student peers and maintaining good social networks throughout the university years protects against mental health problems and fosters positive mental health during stressful periods. Moreover, the support students receive from family and friends helps them remain in higher education, which is important, as having a higher education is a predictor of social connectedness across life into later years.
The ‘Look After Your Mate’ guide produced by Student Minds supports you in looking out for your friends throughout their student years. Some of their useful tips are shared below.
How you can support your friends
- Get the conversation started: do something relaxing. It’s sometimes easier to talk openly when the focus isn’t on the conversation you’re having.
- Having the conversation: be prepared. It might be helpful to write down what you want to say.
- Keep up with the fun stuff.
- When it’s tough, do small things to show you care.
- Look after yourself too – it’s important to maintain boundaries.