Not everyone with a mental health or wellbeing difficulty will display outward signs of their distress. However, there may be certain signs which could indicate that someone is experiencing problems with their mental wellbeing.
Remember that everyone is different; an individual experiencing mental health or wellbeing difficulties may exhibit just a few or many of the signs and symptoms listed below.
- Agitation, irritation or argumentativeness
- Excitable or restless
- Apathy, withdrawal from everyday activity including study and socialising
- Studying to the exclusion of everything else, including eating and sleeping
- Obsessiveness and over-conscientiousness
- Reduction in conscientiousness
- Disturbed appetite (eating too much or too little)
- Disturbed sleep (sleeping too much or too little)
- Excessive consumption of mood altering substances, including alcohol
- Decline in performance and interest in study
- Frequent sickness & absences from lectures and/or seminars
- Self harm including cutting, burning and self-poisoning
- Reduction in attention to appearance and poor personal hygiene
- Marked weight loss or increase
- Looking excessively drawn or tired
- Bizarre, unusual and out of character dress
- Signs of self harm, e.g cuts to arms
Mood and Cognitions
- Feeling empty or low in mood
- Noticeable mood swings
- Overwhelming anxiety or anger
- Feelings of guilt or shame
- Persistent negative thoughts about self or others
- Thoughts of hopelessness or helplessness
- Bizarre or paranoid thoughts
- Poor memory
- Poor concentration
- Thoughts about death/suicide
There are a number of sources of support both within the University and externally. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Team are available to meet with students to discuss concerns, advise accordingly and co-ordinate support as required.
For information about external mental health services, please see the information on the crisis situations page of our website.
Student mental health problems can happen to anyone, but support is available. Staffordshire University student Max Haynes' short film about anxiety and depression:
To arrange an appointment with one of the Mental Health & Wellbeing Team, please submit an appointment request form.
Worried a friend may be struggling to cope with life? Here are some tips on how to help. The Samaritans - How to Help a Friend in Need.
Mental Health Team Feedback
“Overwhelmingly positive experience. Should have contacted the team a lot sooner”