Hello, I'm Charlotte and I'm in my first year studying Pharmacy at Bath Uni. I thought with it being close to the end of semester one and exam season, it would be a good time to explain the support available for health and wellbeing at Bath University through a student's eyes. I have problems with my knee joints and struggle with mental illnesses (depression, anxiety and anorexia) so was worried about how this would affect my studying, but all the staff here are incredibly supportive and helpful - any concerns are dealt with quickly and with compassion and I know I have people I can turn to if I need them.

Disability Service

As I declared my disability on my UCAS application form, the Disability Service got in contact with me as soon as I received my conditional offer from the University, but even at interview or applicant visit days, all students are asked if they need additional help and support. I met with one of the lovely Disability Service Advisors online to talk through my conditions, what impact they had on my daily life/studying and what support I had received at my old school.

This lead to the agreement of my Disability Access Plan (DAP) which includes adjustments like being able to take breaks during examinations and having lecture capture services (although this year all lectures are pre-recorded as standard). I gave consent for my DAP to be shared with my professors and other staff members so that I don't feel nervous about having to explain myself if I need to use these adjustments. My Advisor also directed me towards the option to apply for the Disabled Student's Allowance (DSA), a government grant which provides any additional software, equipment or training needed for disabled students.

assorted books on wooden table
Photo by Sharon McMcutcheon @sharonmccutcheon on Unsplash

 

Mental Health Service

I also receive support from the Mental Health Service at Bath; I am in regular contact with one of the Mental Health Advisors so that the University can keep an eye on my wellbeing and any extra help that I need can be sorted out. This year I'm studying from home because of the pandemic and my mental health conditions, and she has been amazing at reassuring me about my choice and organising for resources to be online so that I don't feel I'm missing out on anything by study remotely.

For example, I go onto campus some weeks for practical work in the labs so I've been given access to a private room that I can use during breaks in my day. I can't fault the service that the team provide, and I recommend getting in touch with them if you have any concerns about your mental health or wellbeing at university.

essential written on a chalkboard
Photo by Sharon McMcutcheon @sharonmccutcheon on Unsplash

 

Other options

While I receive support from the services I've explained above, there are other teams at the uni which help with other conditions or issues that I haven't had personal experience with, such as options for receiving counselling. Bath also has a Nightline which is a phone service open to all students that can direct you to relevant services to get help.

Apart from official university services, there are societies such as the Yoga Society and free classes run by professionals at the Sports Training Village (still running online at the moment) which can help with improving your wellbeing. Personally, I have tried and enjoyed the mindfulness, yoga and barre fluid classes from the STV, but there are also other more intense options such as HIIT classes and body conditioning.

person doing yoga on floor
Photo by JD Mason @jmason on Unsplash

 

Overview

I hope this post has helped to reassure future students or those already studying at Bath that there is plenty of support available whatever you are struggling with. All staff on my course and from the Disability/Mental Health services have been welcoming, understanding and compassionate.

The support I have received has genuinely exceeded my expectations and I'm so glad that I made the decision to reach out. Please reach out if you are struggling, everyone at Bath is happy to help.

Together is the way
Photo by Margarida Afonso @mrafonsa1976 on Unsplash

 

 

Posted in: Learning & Teaching at Bath, Looking after your mental health at university, Students with a declared disability, Undergraduate

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