Bouncing back after an episode of mental ill health


I write most of the guides that live in our self-help library.

Whilst I enjoy writing and updating them, there is something special about working on a guide with another person – getting another voice into those guides, especially a student voice.

I was fortunate last year to be approached by a student (Clara) who wanted to share her story of recovery from mental ill health and use it as the basis of a guide for students in similar situations.

After a few discussions and lots of emails backwards and forwards, we finally got our first draft of the guide completed.

It is called ‘Bouncing back after an episode of mental ill health‘ and it has been on the shelves here at HCDS for the last couple of months. It has been popular. We’ve moved quite a few copies from the service, but also at public events like Open Days and Mid Year Orientation.

The guide was written for students who have experienced a period of mental ill health and are now trying to get their lives and studies back on track. It contains the lived experience of Clara and the strategies she’s used to look after her health and wellbeing.

I thought it timely to now promote via the blog.

The guide consists of 10 short chapters that cover topics like:

  • getting on top of your mood
  • self-care
  • getting your studies back on track
  • getting socially connected
  • engaging your humorous and dark side
  • developing a coping plan
  • your long-term goals

What is really cool is that all the suggestions contained within are things that Clara has done (or is doing) to keep herself healthy. You’ll find her reflections interspersed amongst the different strategies which makes the document feel more authentic, cause you have a sense of someone’s actual experience is sitting behind the words on the page.

You can grab a hard copy of the guide at HCDS or a digital copy below (if the link is broken, please let me know –

If you’ve made big changes in your life for the purposes of your health and wellbeing and would like to share with other students, consider contacting me to discuss how we might translate your experiences into helpful resources for students –

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