Wellbeing

 

Wellbeing, wellbeing, wherefore art thou wellbeing?!

Or should it be ‘what art thou’ because isn’t that really the bigger question?

Wellbeing is about taking a holistic approach to feeling good. That means encompassing your seven dimensions of wellness ; Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, Environmental, Vocational, Intellectual, Physical. (Find out more about these here.)

Here in TU Dublin Students’ Union we genuinely care about your wellbeing. That is why our Welfare & Equality team runs various campaigns throughout the year focusing on positive mental health, sexual health, and physical health, and we also have some really fun events which enhance your social and emotional wellbeing too, be they online or in person, depending on Covid circumstances. 

We are aware that college can be extremely tough for students, especially during the current climate and we want you to know we are here for you. Once you are a student here you are automatically a member of TU Dublin Students’ Union.

We are free, confidential and independent from the college.

It's important for us for you to feel as though you belong and we try to foster an environment that does that. We have a long history of working closely with LGBTQ+ Societies as part of this and as a result have a very inclusive union and have been involved in policies to make the campuses more inclusive. We plan on keeping this work moving forward.


We want to make sure ALL students are represented and feel accepted, welcomed and valued, so are working on deepening relationships with various other societies and clubs to help us with this. We also would love to hear from you on issues important to you.


So… What are we actually doing to enhance your holistic wellbeing during your time in the university??

We as your VP Welfare & Equality sit on loads of  committees related to student welfare issues, such as Sexual Health, Mental Health and Student wellbeing! Throughout the year we have worked on policies for students such as Gender Expression, Consent policies and International Protection Applicants. We continue this work behind the scenes on the daily!

Our  Advice Service is independent, confidential and of course, free. We can also help and advise on any general queries you have about college. 

To contact us you can email advice@tudublinsu.ie or get in touch with local Vice Presidents of Welfare Equality.

 

Wishing you all the best of luck and fun for the coming year,

Your Vp’s for Welfare & Equality,

Lesley, Fionn and Padraig XO

 

Lesley Barrett

VP for Welfare and Equality Tallaght Campus

welfare.tc@tudublinsu.ie 

087 400 7512

 

Fionn Collins

VP for Welfare and Equality City Campus

welfare.cc@tudublinsu.ie

0831052061

 

Pádraic Keane 

VP for Welfare and Equality Blanchardstown Campus

welfare.bc@tudublinsu.ie

0860654571

 

Mental Health


We all have “Mental Health”, think of it like electricity where you live. It’s all wired up and running but if a fuse goes it can cause an issue with one area, and if there’s a power cut the whole house is out. If we look after our whole selves, (the seven dimensions) we can help prevent negative mental health.

Anxiety is a growing concern among people of all ages, and is becoming particularly prevalent in younger people. It is a term that can be confusing as it is generally overused. We all get anxious from time to time. In fact feeling anxious is perfectly natural and can be a good thing, it is the instinctive part of our brain telling us to be cautious of a perceived threat. HOWEVER, there is a difference between feeling occasionally anxious and having issues with anxiety. Let’s be honest there’s A LOT to feel anxious about right now but continual anxiety if left untreated can cause us to feel depressed, withdrawn and isolated. We have some helpful tips here for managing occasional anxiety but ALWAYS speak to a professional if you have serious concerns.

Did you know, as a student in TU Dublin you can access your college counsellor in confidence and it's FREE. Think of your mental health as the engine of a car. You don't have to wait till it breaks down to get a mechanic to give it once over, in fact, if you want to keep a car running you occasionally bring it to a garage just for a check over. So why not do the same with your mental health. Avail of the services, have a check in when issues start popping up rather than waiting until things get too overwhelming and your ‘engine’ overheats!

 

Information for the Student Counselling Service on each campus can be found here:

You can also get in contact in confidence with external services such as:

  • Pieta House by calling FREE on 1800 247 247 or texting ‘HELP’ to 51444
  • The Samaritans by calling FREE 116 123 emailing jo@samaritans.ie (both are 24 hours)
  • Turn2Me offer peer to peer supports as well as providing free online counselling
  • 50808 Is a crisis textline. Text ‘HELLO’ to 50808 to talk to a trained professional NOW.
  • Jigsaw provide ongoing support for young people aged 12-25

And more information on mental health supports nationally can be found here 


!!MOST IMPORTANT!!

If you have any concerns or are experiencing negative mental health the key thing is DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE, SPEAK UP!


Physical Health


Your physical health is one of the most important aspects of your overall well being. If your mental health is the ‘engine’ your physical health IS the car!

 

Did you know the TU Dublin students can access the Student Health Centre on their campuses? You can make an appointment with the nurse for free and on some campuses see a doctor at a reduced cost.

Click for information on the Medical Health Centres in: Tallaght , City , Blanchardstown

 

Nobody is expecting you to go out and become the world's fittest or most active person but for most of us, apparently we’ve lost well over an hour of active movement since the changes in lifestyles that came with lockdown on March 13th this year.

Small changes can make a big difference if implemented into our daily lifestyles.
 

Here are some suggestions we hope could be easily take up and brought into your daily routine without much inconvenience:
 

  • Stand don’t sit (if possible) - Most of us have increased time on the screens be it for work, study or downtime (be real how many box sets have you gone through?!) - this means increased time sitting in front of a screen. If you can stand instead of sitting for even 5-10 minutes out of each hour you are online it is better for your physical health. Or as per Irish Heart foundations guidelines, stand up and get active for 1 minute each hour.

  • Be Snack Aware! - That’s right we’ve all been snacking a bit more during our increased screen time. More cups of tea means more biscuit!. Fizzy drinks! Crisps! Chocolate! Oh how we love to indulge! But, sometimes we aren't even aware of how much we are snacking between meals, especially if spending more time at home. An easy way to combat this is to pre plan your snacks. Literally just a lunchbox or bag put together the night before with a set number of snacks you can choose from can limit the number of times we go wandering to the fridge or press. It can also make you more aware of the kind of things you are snacking on. Which leads to the next suggestion, 

  • Snackright! be snack aware. - Make one change to what you snack on, substitute crisps for nuts / dried fruit for the crunch fix, substitute a fizzy drink for water etc. You might think because your weight is healthy that you can snack on whatever you like, (you can nobody is stopping you!) but whilst we can see physical changes to our bodies we can’t see what’s going on inside. The unhealthy stuff we snack on could contribute to high cholesterol and other issues. Be snack conscious, be snack wise, make one change and work from there.

  • Get more active - Health officials recommend 30 minutes a day for five days, or 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise. That’s a fact. And, we don’t disagree. However, we do understand this may seem daunting or undoable to some people. What we suggest is start simple and do what YOU CAN DO. Don’t think “I need to get healthy so I need to go run 10k” because that’s just not going to work and it will demotivate you. Start with simple and achievable goals. Go for a walk for 10-30 minutes depending on what you can personally manage. As you implement this into your routine it WILL get easier and who knows you could be running that 10k sooner than you think!

  • On yer Bike! - Cycling is a fun way to get fit and healthy. You may already have a bike but if not did you know, if you are working many employers offer a “Bike to work” scheme which can be used to purchase a bike and equipment. If not you can find good offers on buy & sell sites on second hand* bikes, and many local bike shops also offer this. Cycling can be a healthy alternative to public transport or can just get you out of the house being active for a while.

* Be cautious when buying 2nd hand bikes from people as they may be stolen. Please do your research, always try to meet the person at their house, maybe ask for a glass of water as proof they have access to the house they meet you at.

Increasing your physical health can have really positive impacts on your overall well being, and can really increase positive mental health.
For loads more information and advice on physical health click here.

 

Sexual Health

 

Your sexual health is so important. Positive healthy sexual relationships are a good thing. 

On that note, do you know what's REALLY sexy?? CONSENT. Consent is sexy! 

You should be able to avail of SMART consent training as part of your orientation for incoming first years. If for some reason you miss this, or wish to avail of it please contact us and we will try to arrange additional training for you / your class group.
Consent is not this big scary thing, that has to be so awkward and uncomfortable. Consent is OMFG! Ongoing, mutual, freely given. So basically just keep checking in with yourself and your partner, “Does this feel ok”, “Are you ok to keep going”, “I like this”. If a person is drunk, passed out or asleep, they CAN’T consent, even if they previously consented, it no longer applies! Mind yourself - do only what you feel happy and comfortable with, mind your partner - do only what they are happy and comfortable with, and you will have much better sexual experiences.

Did you know your college nurse and Students Unions give condoms and lube out for free.

Given the current situation and the fact that we are not on campus does not mean that you can’t avail of the free condoms service through other means such as through post  or they are in packs on the counters in some chemists (check locally). 

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP is taken by HIV negative people before having sex (pre-exposure) and after sex, to prevent HIV (this is called prophylaxis). For moe information on PrEP click here.

If your mental health is the engine of the car, and your physical health is the car itself, your sexual health is the accelerator, breaks and gears! And, just like the engine and the body work they also need the occasional check-up! 

You can speak to your campus Student Health Centre about any sexual health concerns you may have or to arrange an STI test (there may be a fee depending on your campus).

Click for information on the Student Health Centres in: Tallaght , City , Blanchardstown.

You can also check here for information on free STI clinics open nationally.

If you experience an unplanned pregnancy you may go through a wide range of emotions, positive and negative, and that is totally normal. 

It might be a good idea to talk to the campus counsellor in confidence.
Information for the Student Counselling Service on each campus can be found here:

 

You can also speak to the nurse for free and in confidence.

Click for information on the Medical Health Centres in: Tallaght , City , Blanchardstown

You can phone the ‘my options’ helpline for free and in confidence on 1800 828 010 for information and advice on ALL YOUR OPTIONS.


There is lots of information on unplanned pregnancy here and it also provides advice information and support for fathers and partners in an unplanned pregnancy situation.
If you want information on abortion click here.

We know from the Sexual Experiences Survery that a high number of third level students may experience some form of unwanted sexual advances, sexual assault or rape.
We also know that for many people they choose not to tell anyone for many different reasons. We also know from research for many people if / when they do tell someone it can be a massive relief and aid in healing.

If you experience any form of sexual misconduct, assault or rape you can speak in contact to the college counsellor or nurse in confidence using the details above.
You can also contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Center (DRCC) 24/7 on freephone 1800778888