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    Health guides

    It is important that you take care of yourself so that you do not fall ill – making sure your vaccinations are current and that you take care when preparing food will help keep you healthy, as well as having a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

    • Illnesses

      • General

        NHS Choices or NHS Direct are the best online resources to find out about all illnesses and how to deal with them. If you're unsure what illness you have, there is a handy tool to help diagnose you or you can call NHS Direct at any time on 0845 4647 to speak to someone.

      • Meningitis Measles, Mumps and Rubella

        We strongly recommend that you ensure that you have received vaccinations for Meningitis and Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) before you join Middlesex. If you have not been vaccinated, you should speak to your GP about getting vaccinated as soon as possible. You may be able to receive a vaccination for MMR at our annual Wellbeing Festival in September, however we recommend that you do not delay and to seek vaccinations as soon as possible.

        Public Health England offer more information on vaccinations and staying well as a university student here, as well as further information in their Measles guide and Meningitis guide. Meningitis Now also offer more advice on symptoms and how to stay safe.

        Our information leaflet also has more information on Meningitis here

      • Pregnancy

        If you have had unprotected sex in the last 5 days and you would like to avoid pregnancy, you should seek emergency contraception. The sooner you seek emergency contraception the better.

        If you think that you might be pregnant, the first thing to do is to take a pregnancy test. You can buy pregnancy tests from most Pharmacies but you may be able to get pregnancy tests for free from NHS walk in centres and sexual health clinics. It is best to call ahead to ensure that pregnancy tests are available.

        If the test is positive, you should make an appointment with your GP who will be able to confirm the result. You will also be able to have a conversation with your GP about how you feel about this result.

        The NHS has more information here (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/

      • Mental health

        We are here to support your mental health and wellbeing during your time at Middlesex. There are some things you can do to help yourself too:

        • You can sign up to HealthMatters@MDX (link pls) which is free for MDX students and sends you wellbeing messages each week tailored to the time of year and what you will be experiencing at university.
        • Fika is an emotional fitness app which is free to MDX students and helps you develop your emotional fitness – that means your confidence, ability to manage change and stress
        • Silvercloud is an online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programme, again free for MDX students, and has several modules you can choose to work through: Positive Body Image, Stress, Depression and Anxiety.

        However, we are also here for you if you feel that you might need a little more support with your mental health. You can refer yourself for support to the Counselling and Mental Health service using the link on the Counselling and Mental Health webpage. They also offer drop ins at Sunny Hill House between 2-3pm, Mondays to Fridays where you can just pop in for a chat.

        If you are immediately concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of a fellow student you should follow the Care and Concern procedure).

        If you are in need of emergency help you should go to your closest Accident and Emergency department at a hospital or call 999. There is more information of crisis help here (https://unihub.mdx.ac.uk/support/counselling-and-mental-health/crisis-and-emergency-help)

      • Sexual health

        It is important to take care of your sexual health through your life, but particularly at university when you may decide to be sexually active or be exposed to new partners. Sexual health is nothing to be embarrassed about, and just like physical and mental health is something for you to take care of properly through self-care and using precautions. However, if you are worried about your sexual health or have not taken the right precautions, there is lots of support out there.

        If you are sexually active, it is a good idea to be tested regularly for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). You can get tested for STIs as well as receive information and advice on your sexual health at Sexual Health Clinics and some Pharmacies. You don’t need to be sexually active to attend a Sexual Health Clinic though. You can go to receive information on sex, contraception (which some people may be advised to take for reasons other than contraception such as managing their periods), and personal relationships.

        You may feel embarrassed about going to a sexual health clinic. But remember that health professionals are just that – professionals – and they are there to help you. You can search for your closest Sexual Health Clinic or Pharmacy which offers sexual health services.

        You may be able to order a free STI testing kit online through Sexual Health London which may mean that you don’t need to attend a Sexual Health Clinic in person.

        Brook offers free sexual health information and contraception to under 25s. The closest branch to campus is Brook Euston.

        Some charities also offer sexual health advice. FPA is a charity which champions people’s right to sexual and reproductive health and wellness. They offer information and advice offers around sexual health, relationships and topics such as consent and disability and sex.

        See what we’re doing at the university to Change the Culture around sexual harassment and disclosure.

      • Travel health

        It is recommended twelve weeks before travelling outside of the UK, you should contact a Travel Clinic to find out if there are any vaccinations or travel precautions you need to take. It is important to get immunised, even if the vaccinations aren't compulsory, and take extra caution with food and water whilst abroad.

      • Emergency contraception

        Emergency contraception – if you have had unprotected sex and you have the possibility of becoming pregnant, you should speak to a professional about emergency contraception. You can usually get emergency contraception for free from your GP, most NHS walk in centres, sexual health clinics, some hospital A&E departments and Brook (if you are under 25). You can also usually get emergency contraception from your local pharmacy but you may have to pay. Always call ahead first to ensure that a service will be able to offer you the emergency contraception. You can search for your closest NHS sexual health service here. Don’t forget that you should still seek professional advice if you have had any other kind of unprotected sex to check for sexually transmitted infections.

      • Pregnancy and Your Studies

        Pregnancy can have an effect on your studies, and depending on when you are due to give birth, this may clash with deadlines or exams. We have put together a handy guide to managing your studies whilst pregnant here (https://unihub.mdx.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0027/156447/Pregnancy-Help-and-Advice.pdf

      • Sleep

        While it is not uncommon to spend some of your time at university staying up late, it is important that you try to keep a sleep routine most of the time, particularly around important deadlines and exams. You might feel tempted to pull an ‘all nighter’ before an exam, but research shows that most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep to function properly. The amount of sleep you get also effects your ability to properly encode memories i.e. to remember what you have spent the day revising or studying!

        Our library is open 24/7 as we recognise that many of our students may commute and have other commitments outside of their studies which means that they may need to study at varying hours. However, we would encourage you to try to seek balance with your studies and to make sure that you are getting enough sleep and rest.

        The NHS has more information on sleep here (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/ but if you feel that you are still struggling you should speak to your GP (link to ‘registering for and accessing health services’ page pls).

      • Healthy Eating

        To remain well during your time at university, you need to make sure that you eat a balanced diet. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and there are lots of ways you can cook on a budget. If you live in halls, your Residents Assistants may well plan some kitchen time for your flats! If you are on the hunt for some easy and healthy recipes and advice, https://www.nourishedlife.co.uk/ and www.eatwell.gov.uk have some good pointers.

        If you are on campus, Chartwells offer a variety of food options

        What are the advantages of good nutrition?

        - More energy

        - Prevent unnecessary weight gain

        - Less chance of health problems in the future

        - Less chance of becoming unwell

        - Less chance of constipation

        What does a healthy balanced life really mean?

        - Eating regularly

        - Eating lots of fruit and vegetables

        - Eating a wide variety of foods

        - Trying to eat less salt

        - Cutting down on saturated fats and sugars

        - Drinking plenty of water

        - If you exclude certain food groups, ensuring that you compensate for this and carefully plan your meals to ensure that you are still receiving the right balance of vitamins and food groups

        Getting organised

        - With some planning you can eat cheap and healthy meals on a tight budget

        - Make a shopping list before you go and shop

        - Maybe shop and cook with a friend who is more experienced than you in the kitchen

        - Watch your waste - when you buy foods that go off quickly, plan your meals carefully so it gets eaten or frozen straight away

        - Vary your meals otherwise you will get bored of eating and cooking the same things over and over again

        No time to cook or can't cook?

        - Shop at the local markets for discounted fruit, vegetables and meat bargains

        - Buy in bulk - it's usually cheaper. You can freeze these and use as required

        - Use cheaper cuts of meat for curries and casseroles and add extra vegetables and beans to make the meal go further.

        - Work out how much you are going to spend on food each week and stick to it

        - Go back to basics - processed food is expensive because you are paying for the processing! It's much cheaper and often more nutritious to buy basic ingredients and make your own meals

        - Compare prices - remember to shop around. You'll often save by doing this

        - Don't be seduced by special offers - if you're not going to use it - why buy it! Keep an eye out for supermarket specials of staple foods and stock up on them when they are cheap. Items such as pasta and rice have a long shelf life

        What could you have in your food cupboard?

        You need to stock your cupboard and fridge with easy to cook ingredients. Suggestions of meals include:

        - Soups - easy to make and nutritious especially if you add a lot of vegetables (fresh frozen or canned). You can use your own herbs and spices to canned or packet soups and even add your leftovers to it!

        - Pasta and rice – they’re quick and easy to cook and prepare.

        - Bread is a good source of carbohydrate. Choose wholemeal bread rather than white as it is more nutritious and filling

        - Potatoes - Baking potatoes are great value and yet versatile

        - Porridge oats - you can buy 1kg bag of porridge for under £1 and it's a really filling meal to start the day with. You could add some fresh or dried fruit for variety

        - Beans and lentils - cheap to buy and a small amount goes far! Canned varieties can make a quick and nutritious addition to soups and stews. Lentils and beans can be used as a main meal with vegetables added. Baked beans on toast is a classic and is actually a very healthy dish, especially if you use wholemeal bread, and low fat spread

        - Vegetables and fruit – you can add vegetables to curries, soups, stir fries. Canned and frozen vegetables can be used as additions to last minute meals. Fruit is excellent for a quick nutritious snack. We should be eating at least 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables per day.

        - Condiments - add taste and flavour to your cooking. Keep a selection of dried herbs, spices, curry powder, vinegars, tomato sauce, soy sauce and stock cubes in your cupboard

        - Tinned tomatoes - these can form the base of all sorts of sauces, are low in fat and count as a portion of your fruit and vegetables

        Study & Exams healthy eating

        Healthy eating is especially important when you are under stress. When you are rushing to meet deadlines it's easy to skip meals and forget about healthy eating. However this is the time your body needs good nutrition the most. Remember to drink plenty of fluids and take some water into your exams.

    • Substances

      • Alcohol
        Fine in moderation, but excessive drinking can affect your work, social and personal relationships. If you're worried about your drinking levels, call Drinkline on 0800 917 8282 - Mon-Fri 9am-11pm, Sat/Sun 6-11pm. The NHS has further information and advice.
      • Drugs
        Drugs are unpredictable and addictive, affecting lives severely, even to the point of death. If you need to talk to someone about drugs, the National Drugs Helpline is free phone and open 24 hours: 0800 776600. The NHS has further information and advice. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our counsellors in confidence.

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