Your well being
Hamnen is a project run by students in collaboration with Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science Students. We work to give you, as a student, better knowledge of how you are affected by stress, the risks that exist and what help and support you can get if you are affected.
The project is led by Ylva Bellander, Johanna Olofsdotter Lundblad, Louise Andersson, Elin Olby, Linnea Lisper och Selma Edenståhl.
According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden, symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress are more common in students compared to professionals in the same age group. A significant increase in women and men reporting impaired mental well-being is seen in the age group 16-29 years (source).
This means you're not alone. Problems in this area are far more common than one might think and there are certainly many in your surroundings who are experiencing similar things to you, albeit in their own way. The above investigation is a few years old, but there is no reason to believe that it is not as relevant today.
Many students become aware of this problem during the first really difficult period of the program, the first time they fail an exam or when trying to balance their studies with other time-consuming interests. You are not alone, it is difficult for everyone. In these situations, it is extra important to be aware of the risks of stress and to remember that your value is separate from your performance. There is a lot of help to receive.
This text is based on mental illness linked to your studies, but there is a lot of information that is useful in other situations as well. If you relate, we recommend that you go ahead and seek professional help.* Below you will find information on how important it is to take one's mental state seriously, what help is available, and how to go about getting it.
* The texts below are compiled on the basis of experience and aim to give an initial orientation on the things that may be good to know when mental illness starts to affect your study situation.
Mental illness is experienced differently by everyone. It is therefore difficult to say how you react to stress and how you feel when you become depressed or anxious. What we want to convey is the importance of taking one's mental health seriously. Because even though mental illness is not visible to us in the same way as physical illness or injury, it is just as serious.
If we suffer from the flu, it is obvious to most of us that we need to rest, drink plenty of fluids and take care of ourselves. When we suffer from stress or other mental illness, it is not as obvious, but just as important. Stress that is left untreated can grow into bigger problems and therefore it is important to do something about the situation, although it can be difficult.
Take yourself and your health seriously.
Take care of yourself whether it means you need more rest, ask for help or seek medical attention.
If your situation is at risk of becoming unsustainable, you may want to ask for help. There are several places where you can turn to for help with mental illness. Only you can know the kind of support that suits you best. Everyone has to start somewhere.
It can be difficult to determine when you need it, but it is better to seek help once too much than once too little. Take yourself and your experiences seriously! Keep in mind that part of taking oneself seriously is not to reduce your problems or your worries about them, neither in contact with health care nor in any other context.
The most common way to get help with your mental illness is through talking to a counselor. There are several different ways to get this kind of help. The following are the most common:
The Student Health Service is run by the university and offers help with study-related mental health problems. They specialize in students and can answer many questions. It is free to go there and they can help you with your situation or help you find the right place to get help from. Here you can often meet someone quickly. You can find the Student Health Service website here, or you can call them on 018-471 69 10.
Your health care center often has more resources than the Student Health but the way health care centers work with mental ill health looks very different. Here you can get help with more extensive problems that require longer contact but it can also take longer to get an appointment. Your health center can also refer you to psychiatry if you need or want to.
You can turn to private care if you, for example, want to go to therapy outside your health center or the Student Health Service. It is usually easier to get an appointment, however, it is almost always more expensive than going to county council-run care. There are many private options in Uppsala. You can get help to find the right one by asking your contact at the health center or the Student Health Services for tips.
To study with mental illness
Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science Students has 4 full-time students, Student Liaison Officers, who work to make your time at Uppsala University better. Of these, it is primarily the Student Liaison Officer and Head of Student Welfare Affairs who can answer your questions about stress, mental illness and what rights you as a student really have. You can reach the Student Liaison Officer and Head of Student Welfare Affairs at [email protected].
The university has coordinators for students in need of special support. Special support is offered to you with both temporary and more permanent problems. At the Science and Technology faculty, Martin Holmberg can answer your questions about how the university can help you. You reach Martin by emailing [email protected].
If your mental health prevents you from completing your studies
If your mental health prevents you from completing your studies, your student counselor can help you plan your studies based on your situation. They can assist you in prioritizing which courses you need to complete for future periods as well as plan what is a reasonable workload during the exam periods. You can find contact information for your student counselor here.