Update 15/2/21 – We have a couple of designers working on giving our whole library a proper facelift. Hoping to show some examples soon.
If you’ve been to the Health, Counselling and Disability Service before, you might have noticed we have various pamphlets and handouts on the walls.
They are a mix of therapeutic exercises, information about programs, and information about external services.
We call it our Self-Help Library. The goal of the library is to put at your fingertips resources that you can use, separate to (or complementary to) individual face-to-face appointments you might have with professionals from our service.
I am constantly adding to and updating the items in our Self-Help Library.
My ultimate goal is a comprehensive range of resources that students can use to address the most common challenges that students face:
- learn about the many services within the university, online and in the local community;
- find out about the many wellbeing-related programs run by Health, Counselling and Disability Services and OASIS;
- build mental fitness or self-improvement or self-care skills that will help you improve your studies as well as your wellbeing.
Since starting the Library in 2018, we’ve distributed hundreds of these resources to students who visit the service, who meet us at stalls on O’week and Open Day or who have appointments with our counsellors or disability advisors.
Because we know that students differ in whether they like to access print documents or electronic ones, we make these available in both formats.
If you want hard copies, visit us on Level 3 of the Student Centre, Bedford Park Campus.
However we understand that many students never or rarely visit the Bedford Park Campus. You can click any of the handouts below to get an electronic copy (either word or pdf). Let me know if any of the links are broken (email@example.com)
If there is self-help information that you’d like that you can’t find in our library, contact me and I should be able to direct you to something appropriate. Use the email above.
Health Service Information
Post Counselling Information Sheet – This is a very basic handout that you can use to jot down any important notes from your counselling session. It includes the details of our out-of-hours crisis service and wellbeing blog.
HCDS and OASIS – programs and services 2020 This is our service brochure which provides an overview of all the programs and services we offer.
Online CBT Programs – CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is a style of therapy that looks at how our thoughts and beliefs shape our emotional experiences. It is one of the most widely tested and supported models of psychotherapy. CBT lends itself well to being adapted to online programs, so there are quite a few websites in Australia where you can do an online version of CBT for free or very low cost. We’ve collated some of those websites in this handout. Useful if you are looking for therapeutic options for addressing common mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.
Digital resources for your mental health – The internet has opened up many alternative avenues to get support from chat services, forums, online courses, community sites, crisis response services, mobile apps, and online therapy. We try to keep a track of some of the main ones so you don’t have to. This handout contains links to a range of different online supports.
Helpful Services in the Community – Over time we learn about different services in the local community that have been valuable to students in addressing legal, safety, health, mental health, food and employment challenges. We keep them documented in this handout.
Phone and chat services – Old School and New School phone and chat services, for when you need someone to speak to. You might be surprised just how many chat (phone, online, email) there are.
Finding Good Mobile Apps – There are thousands of mobile apps for health and wellbeing nowadays, but very few of them have actually demonstrated any health benefits. This handout helps you identify some of the better ones by directing you to repositories of apps that have been reviewed by health professionals.
Other wellbeing-focused services in the university – HCD and OASIS aren’t the only groups in the university that have your health and wellbeing in mind. We try to keep a track of other groups in the university that you might find useful.
Chinese speaking practitioner guide (only available in hard copy at the service). It looks like this:
An introduction to mental fitness – I go into detail on the topic of mental fitness at this blog post but this handout gives you the reasonably quick version on how to build mental fitness in your life.
Brief self-compassion guide – a couple of exercises to help you develop self-compassion, the ideal antidote to self-criticism.
Self-care Mega Guide – Self-care is anything you do to look after your mental, physical, social, spiritual or environmental health. There are many ways you can achieve this, and we been collecting those ways for a while. This guide gives you a lot to think about in terms of how you build the best version of yourself possible.
How to prepare yourself psychologically for work placements – Work placements are amazing opportunities to get a taste for what it will be like to work in your profession. In this guide we let you know what you can do to prepare yourself for these placements to get the most out of them.
Evidence-based study and exam preparation tips – When you arrive at uni, there is an assumption you know ‘how to learn’ but if you are like me, no-one ever actually sat me down and told me how best to learn and memorise new information. Fortunately, cognitive scientists have been studying this for a long time. In this document I outline the best learning strategies for getting all that course information into your head (and then out again for exams).
Which areas of my life could I work on? – Now I am not saying that you aren’t great the way you are, but you know and I know that we could probably all make improvements to some aspect of our lives. I certainly can. In this document I look at different areas of your life that you could work on, and where you might start in that process.
Be your own counsellor – A simple problem-solving framework that you use to become your own counsellor.
Public speaking anxiety – Just a few things to remember when you are public speaking, that might help calm those nerves.
Personal rules and beliefs – Many times when I’ve got ‘stuck’ in life, I’ve ultimately discovered that it was related to certain rules I held in my head about how the world works. Turns out it isn’t just me. One of the main goals of therapy is to understand the subconscious rules that we are following that aren’t helping us engage effectively with life. In this handout, I start that exploration process.
Building New Habits – We’ve all tried to start a new health behaviour and then found ourselves, 2-weeks later, reverting back to our old behaviour. In this guide we look at the different methods that health psychologists have used to help people make lasting changes to their lifestyle.
Getting off to a good start 2020 – A guide for those students just starting out, or returning for a new study year, who want to get off to the best start possible. This should still be mostly appropriate for students starting in 2021 🙂
A guide to self-improvement – Whether you’ve realised it or not, you are at uni to build a better version of yourself. In this guide we dig into the process of self-improvement so you can get better at getting better!
Mind and body
Yoga mega guide (incorporates the 3 below) – Mindful Yoga teacher Maureen outlines 3 simple ways to use yoga to improve wellbeing. Make sure to also check our Maureen’s ongoing blog series – Yoga Insights.
A quick guide to preparing a disclosure script – A guide for those with disability who are wondering just how much they should disclose to others about their condition
Resources co-developed with students
Bouncing back after an episode of mental ill health – We work with student Clara to develop a guide for students who are studying with mental ill health. In this guide we look at the steps you need to take to bounce back after a period of mental ill health.
Safety and crisis
My coping plan – A guide written by you, for your future self, to let you know what to do if times get tough.
Self-care during difficult times – Difficult times will happen to all of us. Loss, illness, crises. When they do, it is important to try to keep basic self-care in place, so you have the energy and focus necessary to make it through. In this document, our counsellors highlight a range of important self-care activities to consider in the middle of difficult times.
Resources for specific groups of students
So you decided to do a PhD! – A self-care guide written specifically for those doing a PhD.
How to prepare yourself for your dietetics placements – A document prepared specifically for Masters of Dietetics students who are about to go out on clinical placements. This document addresses standard self-care principles but also digs in a bit into some of the aspects of clinical placements that students can find challenging, including coping with perfectionism and dealing with critical feedback.