Although much of the advice around mental health says "it's good to talk" we know that actually reaching out for professional support can be really difficult. If you're a student, you might either be concerned that your family GP might tell your parents, or you may not even be registered at a local practice. Past experiences of care might have put you off speaking about your mental health.
Our "Seeking Support" advice page for students includes a couple of resources that might help taking this step easier - they include advice on your rights as well as checklists to help you plan your appointment.
Speaking to a GP can often be the first step on the road to feeling better or getting access to the right therapy or medication. Additionally, although most wellbeing support and counselling provided by universities does not require you to provide evidence of having mental ill health, some really valuable support (such as exam adjustments or Specialist Mental Health Mentoring) requires specific evidence of a long term mental health condition.
We'd recommend speaking to your university about what sort of evidence you might need - it will normally need to state that you have a diagnosis or that your mental health condition is expected to last longer than 12 months. There is an evidence proforma for Disabled Students' Allowances (if you Google this phrase it will make sure you have the most up to date version). The information provided on this proforma should normally also be sufficient for you to access other support from your university.
To see the resources mentioned and to find out more about speaking to your university about your mental health, click on the "For students" heading above. You can also search the hashtag #IChoseToDisclose for information and stories about sharing information about your mental health condition.
Photo by Karolis Vaičiulis on Unsplash