We know supporting friends isn't easy; it can be hard to know what to say and when to say it. That's why we've partnered up with Student Minds to provide specialist training for anyone supporting a friend with mental health difficulties.
Our Look After Your Mate workshops run around 6 times a year, with the next scheduled for early December (keep an eye on the SU What's On page). If you need help before then, you can email the SU Advice Team for advice on how to manage your situation. If you're part of a group, you could also ask SU Advice if they might be able to run a special training session just for your members. Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The workshop includes:
- Key practical tips for supporting a friend
- Spotting signs your friend is struggling
- How to start a conversation
- How to support a friend: listening and motivating
- Signposting to further support
- Looking after your own wellbeing as a supporter
General advice about Looking After Your Mate and yourself
Student Minds have written a great guide on how to support others, available on this link: Look After Your Mate Guide - A Student Minds Resource.
When starting a conversation with a friend you are worried about, consider where and when you are going to talk and what you’re going to say.
Picking somewhere quiet without interruptions is a good starting point. Having only a short period of time can add unnecessary pressure to the situation so make sure you have enough time to chat. When thinking about what you’re going to say don’t worry about not understanding everything your friend is going through and don’t worry about giving advice, simply by giving your friend the opportunity to talk, you are showing them that they are not alone and that you are there for them.
To find out more visit Student Minds - Starting a conversation with a friend.
When supporting a friend remember to make time for yourself by keeping up with your usual interests and hobbies. If you are finding worrying about your friend tough, seek support from someone removed from the situations. Also, set boundaries, you may not be able to help your friend with everything, you can help restore their confidence by allowing them to do things for themselves.
To find out more visit Student Minds - Tips to look after yourself.
If your friend is having specific difficulties, understanding more about the condition and what they are going through is one of the most helpful things you can do. However, avoid labelling your friend, encourage professional support if a condition hasn’t been diagnosed.
For specific support on Eating disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, OCD and Psychosis visit Student Minds - Support for specific difficulties.
Get Advice and Support at University
You can get help all year round by talking to:
Peer Mentors are experienced students who know what it is like to be a student at the University and are trained to signpost their mentees to various support services. To find out more visit Peer Mentoring.
Student Support provide support and guidance, including counselling and mental health, disability support, money management and international student advice. To find out more visit University of Bath Student Services.
The SU Advice and Support Team can guide and support you with academic, housing or personal problems you encounter. Experienced Advisors offer confidential, independent and non-judgemental information, advice and support in a number of areas.
Your department and personal tutor can also provide advice and support, and can signpost you to various University services.
There are also a number of Diversity and Support groups at the University including: Student Minds, Disability Action Group (DAG), Feminism and Gender Equality, LGBT+, Mature Students Group, Nightline, Race Equality Group and Bath Erasmus and Exchange Network (BEN). Diversity and Support groups have a designated Welfare Committee member who can support student wellbeing. To find out more visit The SU Diversity and Support Groups.