Mental Health

Recognising Mental Health Problems

Signs and symptoms could include some of the following:

  • Difficulties with memory and concentration.
  • Feeling emotionally numb, or frequently wanting to cry.
  • Overwork, restlessness, hyperactivity, or finding it hard to do anything at all.
  • Difficulty sleeping, or difficulty staying awake.
  • Loss of appetite, comfort-eating, or preoccupation with food and weight.
  • Talking too much or too fast, or not talking at all.
  • Feeling constantly fearful, or experiencing panic-attacks.
  • Difficulty relating to your environment and/or to other people.
  • Feelings of unreality, or heightened reality.
  • Hearing voices, or seeing or feeling things others appear not to hear/see/feel.
  • Persistent worrying thoughts or ideas.
  • Self-harming.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Any one of these problems on its own does not necessarily indicate mental illness, but it is always best to seek help or advice.

If you are concerned that the student may be a risk to themselves or to others, see: ‘Emergency Flowchart’ for in office hours and out of office hours.

  • It is estimated that one in four adults in Britain will experience mental health difficulties at some time in their life, and one in fifty will suffer serious mental illness.
  • We are all on a continuum of mental health and can move up and down dependent upon a wide range of factors, such as nutrition, bullying, or loss.
  • Individuals with no previous history of mental health difficulties may become affected if their circumstances change.
  • Others, who have had previous mental health problems, may experience a recurrence when placed in new stressful situations.
  • Though recovery can sometimes take time, people can, and frequently do, recover completely, from most types of mental illness.
  • Some individuals may be vulnerable to further episodes of illness, or require longer-term treatment, but support can reduce the risk of relapse.


Useful video clips