COVID-19 – Latest MDX updates and FAQs
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    Health guides

    Your wellbeing is your mental, physical and emotional health and we want to ensure that you're having the best time at University; be that with your studies or your personal life.

    Keeping fit and well

    Keeping well means looking after your wellbeing and health broadly. Your wellbeing is affected by your physical health as well as your mental health, and a number of other factors. We have identified 5 key factors that affect your wellbeing:

    1. Your health – both physical and mental
    2. Your leisure time and activities
    3. Your studies
    4. Your identity and community
    5. Your career and employment prospects

    The Student Health Guide gives a great introduction to keeping well as well as giving you information on MDX and MDXSU support available to keep you thriving.

    Check out Public Health England for more information on staying physically well as a student and read the PHE Fact sheet.

    Making sure you're keeping yourself physically healthy is an important part of your wellbeing. There are plenty of steps you can take to ensure you stay free from colds, flu's and infections. Read our guide on contagious diseases to keep healthy and in the know.

    Good Thinking is a platform that hosts over 120 online resources including wellbeing information, guides to improving mental health, courses on and offline, mobile apps and other therapy approaches. It is designed for anyone living or working in London. So far over 220,000 Londoners have used Good Thinking to tackle sleep, anxiety, stress and depression. It’s free for Londoners thanks to London’s NHS, London’s borough councils and Public Health England.

    Getting help from the NHS

    We recommend registering with a GP as soon as you arrive at Middlesex or the UK. It's important not to wait before you're ill to do this. You should also ensure that you are up to date with your vaccinations for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), and Meningitis.

    If you're not sure what health service you need, download the Ask NHS app (available on Android and Apple) to get guidance on the best service for you.

    A webinar on keeping well

    Watch this webinar with Student Wellbeing Coordinator, Vanessa, and 2nd year student and MDX Ambassador, Abdelrahman on keeping well as a new student arriving to Middlesex.

    Being safe on campus

    While on campus, the security team should be your first point of call if you become ill or are concerned about your safety. If you are a victim of crime or want to report any suspicious activity on campus, please contact our campus watch 24-hour control room by calling 0208 411 6200.

    For non-emergency situations including safety or general advice about the campus, you can contact our Security team by calling 0208 411 4329 or visiting their office based in the Quad if you are on campus and it is safe to do so in a COVID-19 secure way.

    In an emergency, dial 999.

    If you're living in halls, the staff are there to support you too, along with overnight security.

    Mental health

    We're here to support your mental health and wellbeing, and if you feel that you might need a little more support, we have many ways to help you out.

    At #TeamMDX, we encourage you to look after your health proactively by engaging in self-care.

    "Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse."

    - Mind

    Self-care can mean different things to different people, and that's ok.

    Self-care could be:

    • doing something relaxing
    • making time for yourself
    • speaking with somebody you care about
    • being social
    • disconnecting from social media
    • physical activity
    • much more!

    Find out more tips for self-care from MIND

    Read this useful guide from the Charlie Waller foundation on starting university and keeping well.

    Wellness apps and platforms

    As an MDX student, you will have free and exclusive access to Fika, a mental fitness app. It's designed to be used for a few minutes each day to maintain and develop your mental fitness, your confidence, and your ability to manage change and stress.

    You also have access to Togetherall, an online support platform that gives you the opportunity to connect emotionally and anonymously with others, in a safe forum with 24/7 moderation by trained professionals. Togetherall is great if you want a ‘deeper dive’ into your mental health and wellbeing.

    UNIHEADS is a 20 minute online mental health training course. You’ll learn how to look after yourself, how to support a friend, and how to stay well in light of COVID-19.

    All these apps and platforms can be used independently to help you to stay feeling at your best through your time at MDX, or in conjunction with formal therapeutic support.

    The importance of connections during COVID-19

    Research shows that staying connected with others – virtually or otherwise, depending on Government guidance – is key to staying well in light of COVID-19.

    Here are some suggestions for ways to connect with others:

    • Get involved with MDXSU. They have plenty of societies, events, liberation groups and communities for you to join, make friends and have fun
    • Download Togetherall, the online community platform. Feel free to post anything that's on your mind and have others reply with tips, suggestions and support. You can also help others by providing your own suggestions and support. It’s all totally anonymous.
    • Join the Fika series of workouts on 'improving your connections'. You can also take part in their daily community question - you can reply with your thoughts and see others' thoughts, suggestions and experiences
    • If you are staying in MDX halls of residence, take part in halls events organised by your Residents Assistants
    • Follow your course, accommodation or year group on social media or join the WhatsApp groups. Make sure to also follow the official MDX channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for big news, events and happenings on and off-campus
    • For information on library and student support, make sure you follow MDXLibrary on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
    • Say 'yes' more and get involved with some great extra-curricular activities, from virtual pub quizzes and book clubs to sports challenges, cooking groups or something totally different!
    • If you are moving away from friends and family, agree with them how often you will stay in touch. This takes the pressure off both parties and sets expectations for contact
    • Remember that it's okay to take time out, too. Time out from the news, social media and contact with people who are not helpful to your mental health

    Looking after your friends

    If you are looking for how best to support a friend who may be struggling, you can take the short UNIHEADS mental health training which has a whole section on this topic.

    Don't forget that if you are concerned about the conduct, health, wellbeing and safety of another student, you can report this to our Care and Concern team for support.

    The team at UNIHEADS have also written this article with some tips on how to look after your friends:

    Look out for your mates

    Over the past few weeks, many of us have a lot of time on our hands and plenty of opportunities to socialise with our friends or family using technology. Facetime, Zoom and Skype calls have become a temporary norm and have allowed us to stay connected. But, they never fully replace the richness of a face-to-face interaction with the people you care about most.

    The easing of some lockdown restrictions are now enabling more face-to-face time, but how can we all look out for friends whilst physically distanced? It can be hard to know if a friend is struggling, especially when you see them less frequently or over a video call. However, there may be some warning signs that you can look (and listen) out for.

    First of all, trust your hunch. You know your friends and family better than most, if you suspect that something is not quite right, then back your judgement.

    In the current circumstances, the most common way that you will learn of a friend who might be struggling, will be during conversations with them. Try to take note of any noticeable changes relating to mood or behaviours.

    Crucially, try to listen intently when you do connect, so that you can help understand the feelings, thoughts and emotions that they are experiencing at the moment.

    Here are 3 simple steps you look out for a friend who you may be concerned about.

    1. Connect

    If you think that a friend may be struggling, make time to start the conversation with them. You’re not expected to have all the answers or to know exactly what to say. Beforehand, ensure you have enough time to talk to avoid putting time pressures on the conversation.

    Wherever possible, avoid starting an impromptu chat at times that are particularly difficult or stressful and so that you have time to prepare. Also, aim to have the conversation when it is just the two of you as this will be less intimidating for your friend.

    During the conversation, be sensitive, and show them that you care.  Aim to ask open questions that allows your friend space to help encourage them to open up.

    2. Listen

    This is the most important aspect of connecting with your friend. During the conversation, be positive, seek to reassure and avoid dismissing their problems. Most importantly, let them talk. By giving your friend the opportunity to talk, you are showing them that they are not alone.

    Use reflective language to show your support and keep the conversation flowing. For example; 'It sounds as if...' or 'It seems that'...

    If they confide in you, try not to act shocked or surprised as this could make your friend feel uncomfortable.

    3. Support

    Being there for your friend is crucial, but don’t worry about giving advice, you’re just there to listen and support. You are not expected to have all of the answers or to be able to solve all of their problems for them.

    Come up with a way forward together, offer your support at the time and follow up with a supportive text or call afterwards to check in. Remember, you can’t help with everything. Whilst maintaining the confidence of your friend, ensure you are getting any support that you may need as it can be tough looking out for others.

    For further advice with how supporting your friends, visit Student Minds and contact your university student services.

    Support if you experience psychological distress

    Though we provide you with the tools to keep yourselves well, we recognise that you may need additional support from us. Our Student Support and Wellbeing teams are on hand for just that.

    You can refer yourself for support to the Counselling and Mental Health service, or if you're immediately concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of a fellow student you should follow the Care and Concern procedure

    For an overview of student support available at Middlesex, watch this webinar with Vanessa, Student Wellbeing Coordinator:

    Sexual health and pregnancy

    Your sexual health is another vital part of your wellbeing and is nothing to be embarrassed about. Just like your physical and mental health, you can take care of it through self awareness and taking precautions. However, if you're worried, there's plenty of support for you.

    Preventing STIs

    If you are sexually active, it's a good idea to be tested regularly for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). You can get tested for STIs at Sexual Health Clinics and certain pharmacies. They can also provide information and advice on sex, contraception and personal relationships.

    Sexual Health London offer an online testing service which may mean that you don’t need to attend a Sexual Health Clinic in person.

    Emergency contraception

    If you've had unprotected sex or the contraception failed, you can get emergency contraception for free from your GP, most NHS walk in centres, sexual health clinics, some hospital A&E departments and Brook centres (if you are under 25). Certain pharmacies also offer emergency contraception but there may be a charge for it.

    Understand emergency contraception

    Pregnancy

    As well as STIs, its also important to safeguard against unwanted pregnancy. Using contraception is the best way to stay safe although they are not 100% effective so make sure you understand how your particular one works.

    Taking a home pregnancy test can tell you if you're pregnant. You can buy pregnancy tests from most pharmacies or supermarkets or get one for free from sexual health clinics and Brook centres.

    If the test is positive, you should make an appointment with your GP who will be able to confirm the result, explain the next steps and talk you through your options going forward.

    Pregnancy and your studies

    Pregnancy can have an effect on your studies, completing placements, taking exams or meeting deadlines. We've created a quick guide to explain the services and support you can get while at university.

    Get advice on pregnancy

    Help and advice

    There are many charities and companies who also offer sexual health advice. FPA is one such charity that provides information around sexual health, relationships and topics such as consent, disability and sex.

    Brook centres offers free sexual health information and contraception to people under 25.

    • Sleep

      It's important that you try to keep a good sleep routine, especially around important deadlines and exams.

      You might feel tempted to pull an ‘all nighter’ before an exam but research shows you need between 6 to 9 hours of sleep to function properly.

      The amount of sleep you get also effects your ability to properly encode memories i.e. what you've just spent the day studying!

    • Healthy eating

      Being away from home can be the perfect opportunity to indulge in new foods and feed your sweet tooth. But just like getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet can make a world of difference to your studies.

      Getting a healthy diet doesn’t have to cost a fortune or be full of just salads and veg. If you're on the hunt for some easy and healthy recipes and advice, Nourished Life and Eat Well have some good pointers.

      The NHS has also launched Better Health – a programme with tools and support to help you reach your health goals.

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