Specifically aimed at students in further education, a new journal co-created by Samaritans and The Positive Planner seeks to improve wellbeing
University can be a brilliant, joyful experience for many. But it can also be tough on mental health. For those with existing mental health concerns, living away from parents (often for the first time), the pressure to make new friends and being put under the stress that comes with further education can all exacerbate conditions. It can also trigger the onset of conditions for some as they navigate a new stage of life.
The pandemic has, perhaps unsurprisingly, made matters worse for some. The NUS (National Union of Students) has reported that half of students say their mental health is worse than it was before Covid, noting feelings of anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression.
Coming together over a mutual concern for students’ mental health, suicide prevention charity Samaritans has joined forces with wellbeing journaling brand The Positive Planner to create The Positive Student Planner. The partnership arose after students asked for an alternative to online support. After two years of the pandemic where everything from studying to socialising took place online, students were keen for something different.
The planner guides students to develop coping mechanisms for tougher times and more positive habits to support them long-term
This new planner (created with the help of leading student mental health expert Dr Dominique Thompson and UK students) supports students in a practical and emotional way. Helping users better understand their thoughts and feelings, the journal also encourages self-care while tackling common challenges such as budgeting, meeting new people and balancing work and fun. The planner also guides students to develop coping mechanisms for tougher times and more positive habits to support them long-term.
Within the planner there are daily journaling pages, meal, time and budget planning pages, self-acceptance exercises, breathing exercises and tools to challenge negative self-beliefs. Students who buy the planner will also receive regular emails with tips from their peers, written by student writers at young people’s mental health charity Student Life.
While Samaritans are best known for their support to those in crisis, they also encourage people to look after their wellbeing every day in an effort to prevent people reaching crisis point
Journaling encourages reflection, self-awareness and an exploration of thoughts and feelings, all of which can be incredibly beneficial to mental health and wellbeing. While Samaritans are best known for their support to those in crisis, they also encourage people to look after their wellbeing every day in an effort to prevent people reaching crisis point.
Neil Gilbert, Head of Supporter Innovation and Insight at Samaritans commented:
“Further education is a significant transition for people embarking on young adulthood – one many find challenging or lonely as they grapple with the reality of their independence. We jumped at the chance to work with The Positive Planner, along with students from a range of backgrounds, to co-design a resource that will help students prioritise and manage their own wellbeing at a time when it has never felt more needed. This is just one of the ways Samaritans is trying to help young people take care of their mental health, following an unprecedented period of uncertainty and change, and we’re excited to see its impact.”
Co-founder and Director of Positive Planner, Finn Prevett added:
“We’re so delighted to be collaborating with Samaritans to create the first student mental health journal, The Positive Student Planner. The figures surrounding mental health in universities have astounded us, and we knew we had to do something. We have both had our own experiences with poor mental health and understand, as a result, how empowering journaling can be. It is often a precursor to finding the words to speak to someone. We hope to inspire a new movement of journaling for better mental health.”
Learn more and pick up The Positive Student Planner now (15% of its revenue on sales before 30 August will be donated to Samaritans and 10% of its revenue therafter).
If you’re struggling with your mental health and want someone to talk to, learn more about how counselling can help and connect with a counsellor on Counselling Directory.