Most students work part-time as well as attending college – and it’s all to easy to let your health take a back seat. With this in mind we have assembled all the best resources that there are out there for students and made them all available from this section. For ease of use we have split the sections into Physical Health, Mental Health, Sexual Health and Addiction. Always remember- all of these areas are dependant on the others. So, to look after yourself mentally, you will have to take care of yourself physically and nutritionally.
Have a look through the sections covered here and learn about ways that you can look after your welfare.
You’ve heard it all before: exercise three times a week, drink loads of water, vary your diet, easy on the units of alcohol you take in. There’s more to student menus than toast and noodles… What we shove into our mouths is big news these days. Finding the right balance is fundamental when it comes to eating healthily. You will feel more energized, active and fit if you eat healthy foods. Exercise is also important and a good balance between a healthy diet and sufficient exercise will help keep your body on track.
For more information on diet and how to live a healthier life visit the Spun Out website. This website provides information on all manner of topics, from exercise to healthy diets.
One of the biggest risks to men’s health is their reluctance to seek help at times of difficulty or to take part in health improvement programmes. But the truth is that most of those health worries that come up aren’t as serious as they might look at first, and that, even if they are, visiting your Student Health Centre can help sort you out in no time. It might be embarrassing, but it’s better to get it checked, and, if you’re a full time student, at least it’s free!
For more information on men’s heath visit the Spun Out website. This website provides information on all manner of topics, from healthy eating to penis talk.
Girls are usually a bit better at taking care of their health than the boys, but with all the stresses of study, it can be easy to put our health on the back-burner. However, there are crucial issues that are central to women’s health and it is always best to get things checked out if you have any worries. A quick visit to your Student Health Centre can help can help put your mind at ease and, if you’re a full time student, this service is free.
For more information on women’s heath visit the Spun Out website. This website provides information on all manner of topics, from healthy eating to smear tests.
For many people, the idea of hurting yourself might seem like a strange one, but for some, it becomes a way of coping with the difficulties of life. Self harm happens when someone intentionally causes an injury to themselves, in one of a variety of ways, and those who self harm report a huge feeling of relief when they inflict this pain. If you, or someone you care about, is suffering with the burden of self harm, then try to seek help right away. Talk to someone at your Student Health Centre, or make an appointment with your counsellor or chaplain.
For more information on self harm visit the Reach Out website. This website provides information on why people self harm and how to go about seeking help.
Depression, the so-called ‘common cold’ of mental health, is relatively common, with Aware, the national depression support group, estimating that about 400,000 people in Ireland are currently grappling with the condition. So if you think that you, or someone you know, might be suffering with depression, there’s absolutely no shame in standing up and asking for some help.
Depression is a pervasive illness; it can affect almost every part of your life, from the way you sleep to the way you act around your friends. If you notice a difference in your ability to function, and experience at least five of the symptoms below for at least a couple of weeks, then you should speak to someone about depression. Your Student Health Centres, Counselling Service and Chaplaincy Service are all on hand should you wish to talk to someone.
- Feeling sad or blue
- A loss of interest in your favourite activities
- Tired all the time, and having problems sleeping
- A lack of energy and motivation
- An inability to concentrate, and becoming forgetful
- Change in appetite or weight
- A lot of aches pains, headaches, constipation, problems with your period
- Feeling anxious
- Feeling numb
- Thinking about hurting yourself, or maybe even killing yourself
- Experiencing delusions or hallucinations
For more information on depression and its symptoms please visit the Aware website. This website provides comprehensive depression information and also has a Helpline.
Before you headed off to college, you probably had everyone from your Mam and Dad to the family pet telling you that these would be the best days of your life… and while there’s little doubt that you will probably have a ball while you’re at DIT, you’ll undoubtedly encounter your fair share of stress too. There’s always six lecturers who want stuff at the same time, and you have to spend a good portion of your Christmas holidays thinking about exams – it’s not easy being a student! That’s why you need to learn how to manage stress.
So what can you do to help you cope with those anxieties about studying and exams and whether or not the people in your class like you or not? Stress is not just an academic thing, worrying about personal issues can be just as stressful as anything that college might throw at you. But the truth is that stress can affect your academic performance, so in order to make the best of your time at DIT, get help with coping with any worries that are stressing you out.
For more information on stress and anxiety visit the Spun Out website. This website also provides information on managing exam stress.
Bullying & Harassment
As cyberbullying becomes a more prevalent issue, USI’s Guide to Cyberbullying includes practical advice on dealing with cyberbullying and information on support services. #ThinkBeforeYouType
Think Before You Type Guide
It can be pretty disconcerting to arrive at college and find that bullying isn’t always confined to the playground. Becoming a third level student is such an empowering step, and it should be a time filled with the excitement of discovering a new found independence, of meeting new challenges, both academic and personal, and of having some serious fun. But all of this can be marred because of the behaviour of just a small number of people.
Bullying can be difficult to define, as what upsets one person might not bother another, but this isn’t an excuse to ignore something that makes another person uncomfortable. If the behaviour can reasonably be described as offensive, undermines an individual’s dignity, and particularly if it is repeated, then it’s not just a bad joke at your expense – that’s bullying. If it happens to you, then contact your local SU office – the Students’ Union does not tolerate bullying, and we’ll do what we can to help you resolve the situation, whether it’s in the classroom, the corridor, or at your job.
For more information on bullying & harassment visit the Spun Out website. This website covers bullying in all its forms, from physical to cyber.
Sex & Relationships
It is not unusual to want to be in a relationship as this is a normal part of developing as a young person. You might be attracted to guys, girls, both or still be working it out. There is no pressure or hurry to find someone you like right away.
For more information on sex and relationships please visit the Reach Out website. This website provides comprehensive facts and information.
There are many sexually transmitted infections you can get and not show any symptoms so it’s important to know what’s what. When you’re sexually active, having regular STI tests is important for your health and the health of people around you. Remember that some STIs show no visible symptoms. You won’t always know if you need a check-up but if you had unprotected sex even once you may be at risk of having an STI.
For more information on sexually transmitted infections visit the Reach Out website.
STI screening means you’re being tested for a full range of STIs at the same time. STI screening is available at a fee of 15 euro at the DIT Student Health Centres. The service is completely confidential and non-judgemental. Students in the Northside Colleges should visit a nurse in Linenhall Student Health Centre and students in the Southside Colleges should visit a nurse in Angier St. Student Health Centre for their first consultation with the nurse. The session will only last 20 minutes. Results are given on return appointment only, 2 weeks after the physical examination. Medication is free of charge for any STIs detected in the clinic.
For more information on the STI screening process please contact the DIT Student Health Centre.
Sexuality & Coming Out
Sexuality refers to your sexual orientation or your sexual preference for people of the same or opposite sex. Figuring out your sexuality and who you’re attracted to is a normal and important part of life.
For more information on the sexuality and for advice on how to tell people you’re gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender please visit the Reach Out website.
Alcohol, Drugs & Addiction
Cigs, booze, an odd pill…sure it’s all part of Irish youth culture, right? Everybody does it, a bit of drink is good for us and hash is great for relaxing? Well yes and no. Unfortunately there’s a very fuzzy line between having a good time and just being plain silly when it comes to alcohol and drugs.
It’s not uncommon for people to experiment with alcohol when they’re young. It’s important to know about the effects of alcohol and drugs to keep yourself safe and well. Alcohol can have a great effect and can have adverse effects. We all know that Ireland has a drinking culture and most of us know that we probably drink more than we should. However, when everyone else is doing the same, it’s easy to forget how bad alcohol can be for our health. You should know how it affects on your body and how to drink safely.
For more information and advice on alcohol, its effects, and what to do if you think drinking’s a problem for you or someone you know please visit the Reach Out website.
It’s important to remember that the word drugs covers a wide range of substances. They might be legal or illegal, useful or dangerous. It doesn’t matter if it’s coffee, alcohol, fags, hash, ecstasy, cocaine or paracetamol. They all have side effects and risks, some worse than others. Drug related problems depend on what drug is being used, who is using it and their mood (if you’re feeling down or stressed), why they’re taking it (to have fun or to escape from reality) and how much they’re taking. Make sure you read up on drugs and make informed choices.
For more information and advice on drugs, including the different types out there and how to deal with emergencies, please visit the Spun Out website.
Defined by a compulsion to use a substance or continue with certain behaviour making your feel good or to avoid bad feelings, no one is immune to be coming addicted to something.
Being physically addicted to something means that your body has developed a need or dependency for the substance and craves more of it. This dependency happens through repeated use of a drug that changes your body’s chemistry- alcohol, cigarettes, heroin and tranquillisers all cause physical addiction.
If you repeatedly take a drug or do something in a certain way, you can feel as if you can’t live without it. This addiction is emotional. You can become psychologically addicted to any drug or anything. This includes shopping, gambling, exercise, cannabis, ecstasy, computer games or the Internet.
For more information on addiction and for advice on smoking, gambling or on-line addiction please visit the Reach Out website.