~ Hannah O’Brien
You may have heard lots about student run support groups at university. There are groups running for an array of mental health problems, including eating disorders. These groups are likely to mainly focus on talking, or what Psychologists know as “the talking cure”. However, a lot of you may be thinking, ”well what good is that gonna do? How will just talking about my problems help, surely that won’t help me recover?”
Well, for starters these support groups can act as a great motivation for recovery. All too often there are long waiting lists for NHS care and it can be scary to take that extra step towards recovery. The Student Minds support groups therefore aim to help maintain motivation for recovery while you wait, encourage confidence and build self-esteem. Just talking it out with someone can make you feel empowered and strong enough to stay on the road to recovery.
Also, students have a tendency to “confide in and seek help from peers”. They find the idea of talking to other students who have faced similar experiences attractive, and 84% of those accessing peer support find the service helpful.
One particularly difficult aspect of having an eating disorder is that your social world may crumble as you isolate yourself from society, so having this one social group of peers and supporters who share some of the same experiences as you can help you feel more involved and allow you to discuss issues you may not have been comfortable expressing with others.
After finding the courage to come to our group sessions, students suffering from eating disorders have described Student Minds as:
“The single biggest contributor to my recovery this year”
“I feel so well understood.”
“The only reason I’ve gone through recovery so quickly”
“That is what student support should look like.”
So, Student Minds believes in empowering individuals with eating disorders to talk, break down stigma and build understanding.
Please come along if you believe in that too.
To find out more, visit our website: www.studentminds.org.uk