Leeds students speak out about mental health during Covid

Two Leeds students have spoken about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on mental health for young people who are living away from home for the first time.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 6:00 am

Like many people, students in Leeds have had to cope with the challenge of working from their student accommodation and have not been able to socalise on campus or benefit from face to face teaching.

For some, it’s been a struggle adjusting to university life in their temporary new homes.

Lydia Flack, 22, a University of Leeds masters student said: “Over Christmas we had barely any time off and then after exams it was straight back into the workload, paying rent, paying full tuition and not being able to go out and see any of our mates even if they are down the road, mental health is just low.

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“And our year missed out on graduation and saying a proper goodbye to people and not everyone managed to come back to a house we can all hang out in.”

For Lydia, mental health has been a struggle and she has ups and downs like most people but has felt the impact during her time at university

One of Lydia’s housemates also spoke up about asking for help at any point when you are feeling low..

Gemma Jones, 21, said: “It’s hard to put on a brave face all the time and I think it’s difficult to reach out yourself when you don’t have a lot of people around you.

"Everyone just seems to say ‘oh you’re young and resilient’ and all sorts but I think we have put on lots of brave faces.”

A spokesperson from the University of Leeds said: “The health and wellbeing of students is our top priority and our support for them - in partnership with Leeds University Union - is embedded across the University.

“We’ve increased investment and staff numbers in the Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service and have made significant changes to our provision during the pandemic.

“Same-day drop-in appointments are almost always available and our range of support includes free 24/7 online peer and professional support through the Togetherall service.”

NHS Leeds CCG said: “There is national evidence indicating that Covid has had a significant impact on young people’s mental health and wellbeing, including university students.

"It’s important that students are aware that there is support available if they are struggling and if they need to speak to someone.”

Details of their local resources are available at https://www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk/ .

For University of Leeds students, you can visit For Students for help and support.