Mental Health in Uni: Navigating Student Life

October 16, 2023

Hey there, students! October is Mental Health Month, and it's a crucial time to shine a light on an issue that often lurks in the shadows.

As you hustle through the challenges of university life, it’s essential to prioritise your mental health. So, let’s dive into some tips and insights on maintaining your well-being during your academic journey.

Acknowledge the Pressure

University life in South Africa can be demanding. From juggling coursework and exams to managing your finances (funding stipend), the pressure can pile up. Remember, it’s okay to feel stressed or overwhelmed. The first step is to acknowledge your feelings.

Seek Support

One of the most important lessons to learn is that it’s okay to ask for help. Most South African universities offer support services for students dealing with mental health issues. Reach out to your institution’s counselling services, academic advisors, or student wellness centers. 

You’re not alone on this journey.

Connect with Peers

South Africa is a diverse and vibrant nation, and the same holds true for your fellow students. Build connections and friendships. Sharing your experiences and concerns with peers can be incredibly comforting, and you’ll often find that you’re not the only one dealing with these issues.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Balancing your academic, social, and personal life is no small feat. To avoid stress and burnout, develop a structured schedule that includes study time, relaxation, and socialising. Prioritise tasks, set goals, and learn to say no when necessary.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s necessary. Take time for activities that rejuvenate you. Whether it’s reading, painting, dancing, or simply lying on the grass and gazing at the stars, these moments can refresh your mind and spirit.

Watch Your Diet and Stay Active

Eating well and exercising regularly are key factors in maintaining good mental health. South Africa offers a delicious array of foods, so explore local cuisine and incorporate nutritious choices into your diet. Exercise, even if it’s just a daily walk, can help alleviate stress and boost your mood.

Sleep Is Sacred

In our bustling student lives, sleep often takes a back seat. But it’s crucial for mental well-being. Make sure you get enough rest. Lack of sleep can negatively impact your concentration, mood, and overall health.

Set Realistic Goals

University life is a journey, not a sprint. Set achievable goals, both academically and personally. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can be powerful tools to manage stress and anxiety. Incorporate these practices into your daily routine. There are many apps and online resources that can guide you through meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Remember, your mental health matters. By acknowledging your feelings, seeking support, and practicing self-care, you can navigate the challenges of university life while maintaining a healthy mind and spirit.

Embrace this journey, remember to breathe and know that you are not alone


Suicide Crisis Helpline

0800 567 567

Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Helpline

0800 12 13 14

SMS 32312

Cipla Mental Health Helpline

0800 456 789

SMS 31393

NPOwer SA Helpline

0800 515 515

SMS 43010

Healthcare Workers Care Network Helpline

0800 21 21 21

SMS 43001

UFS #Fair Kitchens Chefs Helpline

0800 006 333


Dr Reddy’s Mental Health Helpline

0800 21 22 23

Adcock Ingram Depression & Anxiety Helpline

0800 70 80 90

ADHD Helpline

0800 55 44 33

Pharma Dynamics Police & Trauma Helpline

0800 20 50 2



011 234 4837

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