Men also are hidden victims of spiking issue

Spiking is an issue everywhere and not everyone reports it, especially men, reports Liv Slomka.

Men also are hidden victims of spiking issue

Survey finds mental health issues increase among students in second year of university

By Liv Slomka

Students’ mental health worsens during their second year of studies at university, a small study has revealed, when they say they find the pressure and the workload increases.

In a small anonymous study aimed at past and present university students, we found that student mental health is mostly affected by loneliness.

Based on my recent anonymous survey, students’ mental health has been getting worse in their second year at university. In this survey, we had 16 participants, with 9 of them rating their mental health as poor and 5 as fair. Only 2 students felt like their mental health was good during their second year of studies.

One of our anonymous participants said: “My student loan went down a lot since last year and I swapped jobs 3 times since July which is adding a lot of pressure on me.

“I can’t go out because I’m constantly trying to save money before my next temporary contract at work runs out. All I do is work, look for a permanent job or do university work and it’s just a lot.”

Eleven out of 16 participants said that they have pre-existing mental health problems before starting university and only 4 are receiving help for these.

Students are also known for going out and partying during their time at university. We also asked our participants if they think students are using substance abuse like alcohol to deal with their mental health getting worse.

Here are the results:

Six strongly agreed with the statement and another 6 agreed. Students are trying to find ways to deal with their mental health alone which can lead to substance abuse, this shows that students need more support when dealing with bad mental health.

Another participant said: “ I think that understanding people may be stressed is important and if they are stressed, let them have extra time and give people more money to live on as people may need money to survive as well as have a social life.”

Based on these results from the anonymous survey, we need to think about what we can introduce to help students get through university without affecting their mental health as much and helping them when needed. We all feel pressure at university but how can we take a little bit of it away?

Growing student homelessness issue highlighted by charities

By Liv Slomka

When people think about homelessness they usually imagine an adult sleeping rough on the streets, asking for money or food, but students and young people all over the UK are also homeless.

Between 2020 and 2021, about 122,000 16 to 24-year-olds were homeless or at risk of homelessness in the UK. But only 62 per cent of that number who were at risk of homelessness were offered support by the authorities in England and 59 per cent of cases of homelessness were not successfully prevented or dealt with. 

Those are official statistics from Centrepoint a charity that helps with youth homelessness in the UK.

(Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

There are many reasons why a young person can be homeless but the main reason is that their family either cannot accommodate the young person any more or there has been a falling out/problem within the family.

Josh S, a student who did not want to be identified but was homeless over the summer of 2022, said: “I was estranged from my family just before the summer holidays, which caused a lot of problems for me.

“I had nowhere to go over the summer which meant trying to find a house over the summer.”

Josh added: “For me, being a student has helped my situation and also made it worse, as many places want an address for when you aren’t in university – a fixed ‘home’ address – which I’m not lucky enough to have at the current moment.”

At De Montfort University. there is a Homeless Outreach Society which aims to help those vulnerable to homelessness within Leicester by raising awareness on campus. 

People on campus wanting to raise awareness about student homelessness and to help those in need can support Centrepoint or the Homeless Outreach Society.

[The name of the student who experienced being homeless over the summer was changed to protect their identity at their request.]

Hidden disability badge has lost its meaning since the Covid-19 outbreak, say users

By Liv Slomka

Students and many others say the hidden disability sunflower lanyard and badge have lost their meaning since the sunflower lanyard was used as an exemption for masks during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The lanyard and badge were used as a way to show the public that you have a hidden disability, one which isn’t an easy spot at first.

It was a discreet way of letting people know that you may need some extra support and help or time when doing everyday tasks. 

Joe May, a second-year media student from De Montfort University, said: “I used to wear the sunflower lanyard because I am partially deaf.

“Since it was so overused during Covid-19 for [people with] mask exemptions, I had to swap to wearing a badge at work that says deaf not stupid.

“It helps me avoid customers kicking off or calling me rude. I did prefer having a lanyard with a card that described my hidden disability, but it is no longer an option.” 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, sunflower lanyards were introduced to show that someone was exempt from wearing a mask in public. It was to show they had a health problem which prevented them from wearing one.  

Most of the people who used the lanyards and badges had asthma and other health/ breathing problems which would be impacted by the limitation of wearing masks. 

 Many people who had bad anxiety and suffered from panic attacks and hyperventilation also used the badge to be prepared for any situations which could induce these attacks, or they had panic attacks because of feeling claustrophobic. 

Masks also made people feel claustrophobic and many people did not believe Covid-19 was real because of conspiracy theories at the time. Many people instead ordered the lanyard or badge on Amazon to escape having to wear a mask.  

When wearing the lanyard, people did not have to prove why they were exempt. Which is why so many people had them, which in turn led to the lanyard/ badge losing its importance.  

Many believe it has now led to a negative impact on the hidden disability community.