Julia Munro

Julia Munro

Executive Assistant

Mental Health Awareness Week

Loneliness is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. Loneliness is described as feeling alone, not necessarily being alone. Let’s delve into the good, the bad and the lonely…

Bulla Co - mental health awareness week
There is a strong link between loneliness and poor mental health, with the following symptoms as a result:
 
  • Low mood
  • Low self esteem
  • Poor sleep
  • Increased anxiety
  • Increased stress
 
Full-time students are among those at higher risk of feeling lonely, and Gen Z reports higher rates of anxiety, depression and distress than any other generation. It is suggested that these levels of stress have been heightened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
 
At Bulla we conducted our own online survey amongst university students, to find out more about Gen Z’s mental health and behaviour.
  • 21% of students said they feel lonely all the time in the past month, and 48% have felt lonely a couple of times.
  • 76% cited their number one reason for stress at university as exams/assignments.
  • 68% of students say their universities provide mental health support, but rate their support systems as less than adequate.
  • Majority of students (35%) exercise 3 or 4 times a week.

Check out our top tips and tricks you can use in your everyday life to tackle loneliness…
  • Understand your feelings
Start a journal, or use an app to track your feelings at different times of the day – do you spot a pattern? Are you judging yourself for having these feelings? E.g. “I don’t have any reason to feel (lonely/anxious/depressed).” Remember: identifying your feelings makes them less scary!
 
  • Monitor your screen time
Social media is a great tool, capable of connecting people from all around the world and sharing news instantly. However heavy social media use is shown to negatively affect wellbeing and self-esteem in adolescence, regardless of young people’s existing state of mental health.
Limit your social media usage and instead go for a walk, draw something, meet a friend, have a bath or read a book! Read this list of 202 things to do instead of playing on your phone.
 
  • Speak up!
Talk to someone you trust; friends, family members, coursemates, uni supervisor, your dog… It will allow others to understand what you’re going through; and you will most likely be surprised at how many people have been through the same. Let go of the fear of being judged.
 
Here’s a list of our favourite support resources aimed at young people:
 
The Mix – Essential free support for under 25’s on a huge range of topics such as loneliness, sex & relationships, money, body image and more.
 
The Samaritans – A volunteer-run charity with 24hr support via phone call, text message and even a self-help app. Get in touch for advice for yourself or someone you’re worried about.
 
Student Space – Confidential free one-to-one support designed specifically for students. 
 
Shout – A 24hr text messaging support service in the UK.
 
The Student Guide to Loneliness – A guide aimed at students aged 16+, it explores loneliness and the links to mental health and provides tips for students.
 
Headspace – Go on a mindfulness journey with Headspace at a hugely discounted fee for students. Every member of the Bulla team gets a Headspace subscription and we couldn’t advocate for it more!
12 May 2022