I have had issues with my mental health ever since I was 17. My dad died in 2013, so I have needed a lot of support ever since to learn how to grieve and cope properly – that is why I have been attending counselling.
I always had the idea that I would feel better after a couple of years, that the grief would go away, and I would get better on my own. I felt like I was strong enough, and I shouldn’t be feeling sad since this happened so long ago. Mental health doesn’t always work that way though.
In times of significant stress or when big events are happening, my mental health gets worse, and I need to talk to someone about it. For me, counselling really helps, because it gives me the space to process my feelings and talk to an impartial person who has met people like me before.
Here are some tips for people who are thinking about counselling, and some myth-busting too.
There are people worse off than me who need the Counselling more than I do.
This is a major reason why I took months to book an appointment to see a counsellor in TU Dublin. We are always told about waiting lists, and how investment is so low in mental health services, so we think we shouldn’t go. This is not true! The TU Dublin City Campus counselling service welcomes any student through their door – you can book an appointment if you want or just drop into the office when you need – more information is here. The service is here for you and completely free of charge.
I’m not the type of person who needs to go to counselling.
Anyone can go to counselling. It can help no matter what stage you are at – there is always something going on that you need to chat to someone about, and sometimes that person is a counsellor. Sometimes friends and family can have their own opinions about how you are feeling or what you should do – talking to a counsellor gets rid of that and they can support you without judgement.
I have been to counselling before and I didn’t like it.
It is true that counselling doesn’t suit everyone. I thought the same. I didn’t like a few of the counsellors I have spoken to, and that put me off for a while. However, I have found a really good one recently who lets me speak my mind without judgement, and I feel really supported there. Keep trying (if you want) – there will be someone that you will click with, so be patient if you can.
I am scared that people will judge me.
A really high number of students attend counselling throughout their time in College. No one expects you to get through this alone; talking can help. The stigma of talking about mental health is reducing, and you can play a part by chatting with your friends about the issues you are experiencing. As always, you can always talk to your Students’ Union officers if you need to talk to someone.
Please ask for help if you need, there are multiple ways to ask for support.
TU Dublin City Campus counselling service is here.
The TU Dublin Health Centre City Campus is here.
Pieta House: 1800 247 247
Samaritans: 116 123