On University Mental Health Day, a number of students have spoken about how their lives have benefitted from speaking to others about their issues and accessing support.

Olivia’s story

Olivia is in her first year at De Montfort University. She moved to the UK from the United States in September, to start her course in animation.

“I’m enjoying university and living in the UK, but I struggle with difficult thoughts sometimes and I can feel uncomfortable in certain social situations. I struggled to access counselling and I didn’t know where to go, until I found the Crisis Café.

I feel like I can share what’s on my mind and I really like the fact I can just drop in when I need to talk, I don’t have to book an appointment, by which time I might be feeling completely different”.

Esther’s story

Esther is studying Business Management at De Montfort University.

“I was struggling and feeling really lonely. I couldn’t talk to people around me as I didn’t think they would understand, and I felt like they might judge me.

My sister recommended that I try and find some help and I noticed some information about the service in the Student Union.

I’ve been dropping in for about a month now and I feel like I can talk to the team about anything and everything. They’ve also helped me to find other local services that I can speak to about more support”.

Tom’s story

Tom is a final year Engineering student at Loughborough University.

“I had been struggling on my own for a few years, feeling low and thinking that I could deal with it on my own. When I reached rock bottom, I decided I had to try and find somewhere or someone to help me.

The first time I came to the Crisis Café, I spent hours just talking and letting it all out. That was lifesaving for me, just being able to say it out loud”.

“They helped me to set goals and I come back every week to talk about my progress and that gives me encouragement to keep working on my wellbeing.

I really trust them and in the last few weeks, I've also met new people who are going through similar things”.