When you combine the elements of higher education, moving out of home, financial independence, transitioning from a routine that one has been living in for 12/18 years of their life, and figuring out everything in between; it’s no surprise the majority are suffering mental health related crises. It is now that in recent times of mental illnesses becoming recognised as a disadvantage, that higher education facilities are implementing appropriate study adjustments.
So what do you do if your mental health is impacting your studies?
Majority of universities in Australia have a medical and health services available on campus for students free of charge or a reduced cost. They offer counselling and psychological services, in which these can help assist students with both minor and significant needs. If a student has a re-occurring and/or never-ending mental illness that disrupts their thoughts and behaviour, there is often a scheme that can be put in place so that a student can complete their education. This is what is allowing me to persist with my studies at university while living with a mental illness.
The AccessAbility Services at Swinburne has made a custom Education Access Plan for myself that is received by relevant lecturers and tutors, both current and future. It allows for my mental health to be taken into account for reasonings as to not being present in class, substituting oral presentations for other work and so on. With this type of aid put in place, I am able to get the most out of my higher education, without much drawbacks sourced from mental health.
Another option I have benefited from is having the choice of studying online through Swinburne Online. In the past year, I have been simultaneously studying both on campus and online; on campus, making me stick to a fixed schedule, and online enabling me to work at times where I am at a stable mindset when it is best suited for me.
If you aren’t coping in any way, shape or form schooling, the best piece of advice to give is to let someone know. Whether it be just a one-off scenario with your tutor to get back up to speed, or if it is a long-standing condition; they can’t help you, if they don’t know.
Share with someone you know in university and let them know help is out there.