Are you feeling a little worried about the year ahead with assignments and exams? Perhaps you're concerned about staying grounded and stress-free during busy periods in the year? The good news is that the ANU Counselling Centre has extremely helpful resources available for you to access and utilise.
The Centre provides group programs that are designed to teach mental health and wellbeing strategies to assist students while at university.
The programs include managing our inner critic, managing stress and anxiety (including exam anxiety), mindfulness and Get-Up and Go Walking.
Acting Head of the ANU Counselling Centre, Andrew Staniforth, says the group programs are a wonderful way for students to connect with the Centre and to familiarise themselves with the mental health resources available to help them be successful.
"Early on we're looking at ways you can be socially connected and we know that connection is an integral part of functioning really well. It's great for health and wellbeing and it's great for protection if you're going to start experiencing stress and anxiety," he says.
"We're looking at ways we can link people together and build their skills around how they can relate."
As a student, Andrew says there may be a lot of transition happening in your life at the moment.
"We know there can be vulnerabilities for lots of different things. It can be hard to find your group - so there's lots of clubs and societies and ways to connect - we're wanting to offer something else for connections and to increase skills we have to manage difficulties we can experience.
"Maybe someone recognises, 'I'm new to Canberra, I don't know how to do it, I can come in and learn some new skills and I've got some friends in this group I can make as well'."
The benefits of these evidence-based group programs are that students will be able to take the skills they learn and apply them throughout their entire life, after university, Andrew says.
"They'll be able to make changes that they can sustain throughout their working life, family life, friendships as they get older. We know relationships are a key component of that.
One of the programs delves into suicide prevention.
"That one is going to be for students supporting friends or family members who have been struggling with serious mental health concerns, or it could be the person who is actually going through a tough time," Andrew says.
"This fits into the broader idea that the University is rolling out this year, to do with ANUBelong. That is about doing everything possible to raise awareness around suicide and suicide intervention and really make a concerted effort to try and target what we can do to make people feel more connected and supported and know how to access help if they need it."
Student Group programs can be found on the ANU Counselling Centre webpage.
More information/useful links:
The dates and details on the ANU Counselling Centre Student Group Programs can be found on the Counselling website at http://www.anu.edu.au/students/health-safety-wellbeing/counselling/anu-counselling-centre/group-programs-and-workshops
For more information on what the Counselling Centre does and its online resources available, including resources on mental health, and the Centre's very popular Talking Tips, visit http://www.anu.edu.au/students/health-safety-wellbeing/counselling/anu-counselling-centre
Mental Health Resources: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/health-safety-wellbeing/counselling/anu-counselling-centre/mental-health-resources (any mental health resources that have a 'T' next them are translated into conversational Chinese, Arabic and Indonesian).
Suite of Mindfulness Talking Tips: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/health-safety-wellbeing/counselling/anu-counselling-centre/introduction-to-mindfulness in addition to weekly led-practice Thursdays at 1230.
During business hours, the ANU Counselling Centre is open at building 18. The Centre will move into Kambri over the next few months.
ANU also has an after-hours crisis line (operating when the Counselling Centre is closed) which can be reached on 1300 050 327 (voice calls only), or via the new after-hours SMS message service 0488 884 170.
If you or anyone you know needs help, contact ACT Health Access Mental Health service 1800 629 354 (24 hours), Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours), or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.