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YOUR mental health resource pack

Here I have consolidated some basic recourses and advice for your information to help you with your mental health recovery. 

1. Charities - There are some key charities that I have been in contact with when I have needed help or information. A lot of them also have online counsellors or chat lines if you are in need:

- Mind - www.mind.org.uk
- Relate - www.relate.org.uk
- Samaritans - www.samaritans.org
- Time To Change - www.time-to-change.org.uk
- NSPCC - www.nspcc.org.uk 

2. Doctors - Your best resource is to go and see a professional who can hopefully refer you to someone with specialist knowledge. I know going to the doctors is hard, but it is the most important step to take. If at first you don't succeed then try again until someone understands you. Seeing your doctor can open up so many doors. 

3. Talk - If you feel like you're not ready to talk to your doctor and even if you already have, make sure you have some people you can talk to about the problems you are going through, whether that be friends, family or someone over the internet. Don't be put off if someone doesn't understand at first as there will always be someone who does. Together, you can work to find the best solution. 

4. Mindfulness - It may not be the cure to your problem, but by taking ten minutes out of your day to just breathe and do absolutely nothing, can clear your mind to help you deal with your problems with more ease. Similarly, writing may help. 

5. Counsellors - I always think that everyone should have a counsellor because we all need some guidance sometimes. If possible, try and search the web or ask at your doctors as to what services are available on the NHS. If this is not possible, then try and search for private counsellors. These people can be your saviours. 

Amy Xx

5 things anxiety has taught me

1. You are stronger than you think - Anxiety can make you feel weak. It can make you feel worthless and that you can't do things like others can but this is not true. Anxiety is just part of your body's biological process and sometimes it can get out of control. However with all of this anxiety comes triumph because every time you learn and find a way to cope, even if you feel that you haven't. Each experience makes you stronger.

2. You're not going to die - Anxiety is your body's way of keeping you alive. Even during a panic attack when you feel you're not going to survive, it's actually the reverse that's going on in your body. I once remember my counsellor telling me that you can't actually die from a panic attack because your body is actually doing what it needs to do to keep you alive.

3. You survive, every time - Ever had a really bad anxiety episode? Well, you're here now and through it. You got over that anxiety fulfilled moment and made it through the other side when you thought you wouldn't. A weird thought, huh!

4. The mind can get confused too! - Anxiety is present to keep us safe, but sometimes our anxiety attaches itself to things that aren't actually dangerous. In a way, our minds are confused. Our body thinks there's a threat when in fact there isn't and it's about splitting this up and trying to understand the reality from what our mind believes is happening. 

5. You're not alone - Anxiety is extremely common. Everyone experiences anxiety but it just so happens that some people can have it so severely that it makes them ill and even in that case, you could name people within your group of friends with some level of anxiety disorder. You're not the only one facing this.

Stay strong,
Amy Xx 

DSA

I want to put this out there for all of those who are attending university. Unfortunately it is often not very well known, that DSA is available for students whom have long term mental illnesses that affect their daily lives, including the likes of anxiety and depression. I was a part of my university's welfare committee and when I brought it up at the meeting, the staff themselves were not aware that such a thing existed. 

DSA stands for disability student allowance and in a nutshell provides with all of the things you need to help you through university if you have a disability. In the UK this can be done through student finance. In my case, I applied through student finance before I got to university, but it can also be done during university. You have to provide them with evidence of your condition which is usually in the form of a doctors note, attend an assessment and amongst other correspondence and depending on budget, you should get the help you need. 

Amongst receiving a laptop, printer and some other things the most helpful thing for me was having access to a mental health mentor. My mentor was outstanding and was the best mentor and counsellor I have had in all the many people I have seen. It definitely helped me immensely and I would strongly recommend it because often university counselling services do not provide the in-depth service that is needed. 

I strongly recommend that you get in touch so you can get the help you need. Please don't be ashamed, it's for your benefit to get help.

Amy Xx

Anxiety poetry

Here is a poem from a reader:

Definition 
 
“What's wrong with you?” they say,
“Can't you calm down for just a moment,
Take a deep breath--
Slow down,
Get centered and
Relax.
Stop being so damn negative,
What's the worry,
What's the hurry?
You can't solve every problem,
Let it go--
Hey not so fast.
Maybe, yes just maybe
If you stopped being so damn frightened
Well then maybe for a moment 
All those fears would dissipate,
If you just stopped your overthinking 
Your hypotheticals,
Possibilities,
If you let life flow all around you
You'd have that peace you say you crave.”
 
But they are wrong.  
 
Anxiety isn't nervousness.
Anxiety isn't cowardice.
Anxiety is a call to those 
Whose eyes are open to the fight. 
 
It is a certain sensitivity
An alertness;
A war machine never idle
There’s a buzzing below the surface, 
There is no calm before this storm. 
It is the constant sentinel
Vigilant in clash with 
Paralysis,
There is no honor, 
No heroism in this struggle
Whose burden countermands reward.
 
It is not the soldier’s nature to relax.
 
It is an instinct,
It is concern for you, for me, for others,
It is a special steadfast mutiny
When
Psyche fights the soul.
 
You say it is a weakness.
You subject me to societal court martial,
Though you cavalierly create conflicts
You say I am afraid.
But those consummate in combat,
Introspective and insightful,
True veterans of life’s battles
Know,
It's fear defines the brave.

Josh Mayesh