- Keep Well
- Mental wellbeing
- Do I Need Help?
Do I Need Help?
Do I Need Help?
Asking the question “Do I need help?” if often a sign that you do. There is a lot you can do to your help yourself, and sometimes you just need resources like this website to help you get started, sometimes you need much more.
While some of our emotional responses, may be a ‘normal reaction’ to an ‘abnormal situation’, it would be important to seek professional support in the following situations:
- you have started to have suicidal thoughts – this is a crisis and you need immediate support. Visit our Crisis Contacts page now.
- if you are having one or more possible emotional responses for two weeks or more
- you have an existing mental health issue that needs follow-up
- you want help and online supports are not enough
- nothing you have tried seems to help
- your friends and family are tired of trying to help you
- you are using alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gaming, pornography or gambling to manage your feelings
- your sleep has not got back to normal
- you have been having suicidal thoughts
It is important to remember that even with professional help, you will also benefit from using the recommendations here and indeed are likely to be given similar advice from a professional, in addition to the support and treatment they offer. It is important to do what you can to aid your own recovery, but also to recognise that everyone needs help from time to time and not being able to feel better on your own is by no means your fault. So get started on taking one step from these pages if you have looked for help and are waiting to get an appointment or it hasn’t started to help yet! These things take time.
Mental Health Supports
UCC Student Health
UCC Student Counselling
List of HSE supports
An NUI Social anxiety programme
A guided, CBT based online self-management programme for mild to moderate depression. FREE from the European Alliance against Depression during COVID. Trialled in UCC
ACT Companion App
A mindfulness based behavioural therapy online programme. Free during the COVID crisis – download on phone and input code TOGETHER
Self Help App for People with Eating Disorders
Student Health Matters App for iPhone
Colleges student health guide app from the ISHA
Online (Video-Based) Counselling and Support
Online support groups for people over 18
Online counselling service
Telephone support counselling for people who are suicidal or engaging in self-harm.
Freephone 1800 247 247 every day 24 hours a day
Emotional support to anyone in distress or struggling to cope
Freephone 116 123 (any time, day or night)
Self-Care Tips from UCC LifeMatters and NSRF
Taking care of our Mental Health and Wellbeing does not run in isolation. We need to take a holistic approach to our overall wellbeing. Start with your body and then work on your mind and behaviour.
Understanding Emotions and Reactions to Covid-19
Recognise that feelings such as loneliness, fear of contracting the disease, anxiety, stress, panic and boredom are normal reactions to a stressful situation such as a disease outbreak.
Even if a family member is isolated or quarantined, realise this will be temporary.
When ensuring the ones closest to you are cared for, it’s important to not forget about taking care of yourself.
Check out the Virtual Workshop on Covid-19 presentation by Professor Ella Arensman for NSRF and UCC with evidence based tips for self-care during COVID. For maximum benefit, it is best delivered as one-hour virtual interactive workshop session – email email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
Improve your mental wellbeing
Practical tips for helping your self towards mental wellbeing:
Take control of negative thoughts and work to reframe them
Awareness: A daily check in on your mood, energy and presence
Attention: Pay attention to the present moment – We can only do one task at a time
Pace Yourself: This pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint. Stress might be activating and give us the urge to go faster and work harder. Working smarter not harder will support your effort best at this time. Take mini-breaks and be cautious of the tendency to over-work, push yourself, or neglect your basic needs to eat, hydrate or just pause from time to time
Breathe and Be Present: Take a slow deep breath, bring your attention to the present moment – you can schedule this on your phone
Schedule Worry Time: If you are finding it hard to focus while worried, schedule a short time (3-5 mins) to write down all your worries or concerns
Get Clarity about what You Can and cannot Control: Write down a list of things you can and can't control to focus your efforts and actions on the things you can control.
Focus on Success and Strengths: Amidst all the challenges and stress, remind yourself of what strengths and skills you bring to this challenge
Stay Connected: It is a good idea to maintain contact with friends and family
3 Good Things : Each day list 3 good things that you have achieved and three things that you are grateful for. This can help us to focus and look out for positive moments in our day
Cut down on alcohol and drugs: substances can sometimes numb difficult emotions and can appear to help in the short-term. However, their after effects on mood, anxiety and the ability to study and work are significant and they worsen pre-existing mental health conditions
Check out UCC Tips for Social Distancing by Dr Margaret O’Rourke
The Benefits of Sleep
- Better assimilation and recall of information
- Makes us less stress reactive (restorative)
- Greater problem solving, creativity and sustained attention.
Some tips on maintaining good sleep hygiene
- Keep sleep and wake times regular (7-9hrs)
- Stop studying at least an hour before sleep
- Develop bedtime routine (Wash face, clean room, read, meditate. Avoid use of phones).
The importance of sleep and routine - Everyday Matters Series, Part 2
Breathing exercise (use breath to verify your emotions):
- Find a quiet space
- Spend a few minutes noticing your breathing
- Feel your breath entering and leaving your nose, chest and stomach
Body scan meditation to reduce strain and improve relaxation:
- Find a quiet and comfortable space
- Start with your breath as a focus
- Slowly move through each part of your body starting with the tips of your toes, paying particular attention to the way it feels and whether there’s any tension there
- Take some breaths, and feel the muscles in that area relax
- Move onto the next part of your body until you work all the way up to your facial muscles and top of your head
Detremental Thinking Styles:
- Imposter syndrome
- Making comparisons with others
- All or nothing,
- should, must and ought to statements,
- disempowering questions e.g. What is wrong with me?
Negative self-talk can leave us feeling anxious, disempowered and unmotivated. These feelings can lead to unhelpful behaviours like procrastinating, withdrawing, wishful thinking and distracting oneself.