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    University Mental Health Day: "Circling Above"

    By MDX Student Writer, Bronwyn Evans

    To mark University Mental Health Day (1 March), Student Writer Bronwyn gives us a personal account of her own mental health journey

    For so many reasons, I am that person that finds reaching out to be uncomfortable, isolating, exposing… So, I learned to fend for myself, fight my own corner and rely on as few people as possible. For a long time, this worked for me and I can genuinely say I was happy in my little world.

    Then, life being as it is, things changed drastically. I suddenly had to support a family member that was suicidal, a child that had to be induced into a coma for treatment and convince an inherently corrupt police force in a 3rd world country to actually investigate the murder of another family member…

    I could feel the carrion-eaters circling above, waiting for me to make a wrong move, to stumble and fall.

    (Attribution: Creative Commons CC: 2.0 Wenchao Wang)

    But I couldn’t stumble.

    I was entering the middle of my university course when this all happened. This course is the gateway to a better future for my kids and a more fulfilling career for me. So, I made the decision to step far outside of my comfort zone and reach out. It started with an email to my head of year and PPD tutor. I was expecting a hard response, something like ‘you’re not fit enough to continue’.

    Instead, I received empathy and compassion. Then, I reached out to my study support tutor and just dumped my news onto her lap, like a slap in the face…

    By this point, I could feel myself wavering, carrying a weight that was driving me down, but I still had that smile plastered on my face.

    I was beginning to stumble…

    Again I was expecting to be told something like ‘you’re not fit enough to continue’. Instead, I was shown empathy and compassion and, much to my surprise, I was given support that was maintained. Finally, I reached out to my head of department who also gave me empathy, compassion and support.

    I can still feel the carrion-eaters circling from time to time, but for the first time in a long long time, I feel supported, like I have backup. Ashamedly, I was not expecting anyone to understand that I am human, just like everyone else…

    Now, I stand. I am not alone.

    Join the conversation this University Mental Health Day: Find out more about our counselling support service and attend the Mind over Mood workshop on Thursday 1 March

    Student lifestyle posts which reflect the interests of our students are written by student interns or writers working within the Marketing department and do not reflect the research, guidance or opinions of Middlesex University. If you have feedback or want to suggest ideas for future student lifestyle posts, please email communications@mdx.ac.uk

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