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Written by:
Kathryn Martin-Chambers
06 Nov 2020

Academic work is important, but that should never come into conflict with looking after yourself, least of all at this especially challenging time.

There isn’t anyone who has not been affected by the disruption over the last few months, and by all the practical and emotional difficulties that it has brought. Across the country we have seen that many kinds of inequality have been brought to the fore, and for anyone with underlying mental health problems – a kind of problem that is invisible – things have been more difficult than usual. Some strategies that we might have relied on, like going to the gym or avoiding too much time spent working in a single space, have suddenly become unavailable.

All this being the case, I am especially grateful that Homerton has taken the initiative to organise an online mental health and wellbeing festival for fifth week, which is open to students from across the university.

I am participating in two sessions. One is about ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and how to combat feelings of not fitting in or of a lack of validity or entitlement experienced in Cambridge (Saturday 7th at 12.00pm). The other is about my own experiences of depression, as an undergraduate and beyond, when I will talk about the practical strategies that have worked for me and the things that I wish that I had known as a student (‘Breaking Free from Depression’, Sunday 8th at 12.00pm). I would be especially glad to have Trinity Hall students listening in.

It is crucial to raise awareness about how many people suffer from mental illness in Cambridge, like everywhere else, and to make sure that we can speak about this openly, and that we all know how to help ourselves and each other. I am testament to the fact that positive change is always possible, and I have seen so many incredible transformations in my students. Please reach out to your Tutor, DoS or one of the college’s mental heath professionals if you are struggling. Never suffer in silence. We care deeply about how you are doing and we are here for you.

Take a look at our ‘looking after yourself in self isolation and lockdown’ page for tips on self-care, cooking, entertainment recommendations and more.

Dr Jane Partner, Fellow