This sixth podcast in the CBT for Low Mood series focuses on self-criticism. It looks at why we can be so critical of ourselves and when this can become a problem, and introduces three tips and tools to help you deal with unhelpful self-criticism.
These tips/tools help with defusing from critical thoughts, getting to know your inner critic, and leaning towards self-compassion. The podcast includes exercises inviting you to bring to mind times when you've been critical of yourself, and to begin to cultivate a different, more compassionate perspective towards yourself.
Depression is among the most common mental health problems faced by students. In this series of podcasts, we look at what depression is and how it can impact student life, and offer some ideas and techniques to help you through it. Drawing on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), an evidence-based approach for the treatment of depression, they provide a framework for thinking about ways in which depression and low mood can keep you stuck, and some practical tools you can try out either on your own or with the help of a counsellor.
Importantly, these podcasts are not intended to be used as a replacement for counselling or therapy for those who may need it. Rather, the hope is that will give you some ideas which might be part of a process of understanding more about yourself and, ultimately, feeling better.
There is a transcript PDF to accompany the podcast which also includes the links below – see the Download Media for the link to this.
Useful Links and Resources
Students against Depression: https://www.studentsagainstdepression.org/ - lots of self-help materials including a Safety Plan template (see the Self Help page)
Dr Kiristen Neff’s website: https://self-compassion.org/guided-self-compassion-meditations-mp3-2/ - lots of resources including guided exercises on self compassion.
University Counselling Service Self-Help Resources: https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/counselling/self-help (see the Mental Health section in particular for more useful links)
Points of Contact
Emergency Services: Call 999 or go to Accident & Emergency (A&E) if you are at immediate risk e.g. if you are having suicidal thoughts and believe you might act on them imminently. The nearest A&E in Oxford is at the John Radcliffe Hospital: Headley Way, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9DU. See weblink for Emergency Department of Psychiatry: https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/AM-075.15-Eme...
Your GP: Your GP is a point of contact for mental as well as physical health and can make referrals to specialist services where appropriate. See your college website if you’re not sure which surgery you’re connected to.
111: Call 111 if you need medical help quickly but there is not an immediate risk, or if you are unable to contact your GP surgery (e.g. due to its being out-of-hours). As well as physical health advice, this is a source of round the clock, non-emergency advice on accessing mental health support. (https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/news/mental-health-helpline-moving-to-nh...)
Safe Haven: A late night safe space for people experiencing mental health crisis (run in partnership with Mind). Open 6pm – 10pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. You can self-refer on the night from 5pm by calling 01865 903037 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your College Welfare Team: Every college has its own setup but this may include a Wellbeing Adviser, Welfare Officer or Dean, Chaplain, Nurse and others. Check your college website if you’re not sure who to contact.
Your College Lodge: The porters can also help you access support within college. If you need urgent support outside of normal working hours, they will be able to alert an on-call Junior Dean who can help you access appropriate support.
Helplines and Online Support
Samaritans: 116 123. Emotional support helpline, free to access, operates 24/7.
NightLine: 01865 270 270. Run by and for students, open 8pm – 2am, also offers instant messaging chat.
No Panic: 0300 7729844 OR 0330 606 1174 for the Youth Helpline (13-20 year-olds). Operates 10am to 10pm, provides support for people struggling with anxiety.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably): 0800 58 58 58. Operates 5pm – midnight. “For people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.” Also offers webchat.
The Mix: 0808 808 4994. Support service aimed specifically at under 25s. Helpline is open 3pm – midnight, and there are also webchat and text support services available.
Togetherall: A safe, professionally moderated online peer support community. Register with your university email address to gain free access.
The Helplines Partnership: There are lots of other helplines and online supports out there. This site helps you find organisations you can contact quickly by phone, email or online, for a range of different forms of support.