If there is any aspect of your University experience which you are having, or are likely to have, difficulty with (including social and leisure activities), you may be thinking about discussing this with your university or support networks. Disclosing a mental health difficulty can seem like a daunting experience, particularly if you aren’t sure of what to expect. Here are some useful things to think about beforehand…
When to disclose:
You can disclose at any time; during the UCAS process when enrolling on your course, before beginning your course, during the university experience…. But deciding to do so is a personal and unique process and you may also decide not to disclose at any point.
Deciding to disclose can be a positive and empowering experience. It may be better both for you and the university if you allow the university to work with you on preventing things getting worse and to anticipate any difficulties you may encounter. Being proactive in this will mean that support can be in place if, or when, it is required.
Who to disclose to:
Deciding who you disclose to can depend on when you choose to disclose. For example, if you wish to disclose a mental health difficulty when enrolling on to your course, this would go through the UCAS application. If disclosing whilst at university, there are often a number of people you can talk to. A good place to start is your university support services as you will be able to find out about the support that can be offered and they will be able to sign post you to other potential services. The support services available tend to differ for each university. To find out about the support offered at your institution, it is worth checking the university website directly. You can also find out whether your university has a UMHAN-represented Mental Health Adviser by looking at our interactive map and find out more about the role of the Mental Health Adviser.
What to disclose:
If disclosing to a university, you may want to think about what information you should disclose about your mental health difficulty. It may be worth thinking beforehand about how it is impacting your University experiences. You may also want to think about what academic adjustments have worked well for you before or what you believe could work well to allow you access your course.
When thinking about disclosing mental health difficulties, the Doc Ready app and website can help you prepare and encourages you to think about your checklist of things to say to a GP. You may find it useful to think about this checklist when disclosing to your university as well. There is no right or wrong to whether you decide to disclose or choose not to. It is a personal choice and there will be pros and cons as with every decision.
The I Chose To Disclose campaign is about putting you in control, giving you the information to make informed decisions about disclosing and empowering you with confidence in your choice.