Student Minds Cambridge is running an online campaign to give recognition to people doing amazing welfare work, activism or providing some kind of support to students. For the rest of the year, we will be publishing a series of individual interviews on our blog with the nominated ‘Welfare Warriors’.
This week, our Welfare Warrior is Tamsin Sandiford! Tamsin is the current Vice-President of Student Minds Cambridge.
‘Tamsin always goes the extra mile for everyone, either personally or indirectly through Student Minds, irrespective of what she may be going through herself. She is kind, supportive, and always willing to listen to you should you need someone to vent to. She is super-determined to provide accessibility to all, and make Cambridge a more mentally-friendly and cope-able environment. She has a heart of gold, and deserves so much more credit than is afforded to her.’
Why is talking about mental health important at Cambridge?
A growing number of students are experiencing mental health issues, so it’s incredibly important to talk about our experiences and work on improving things as a student community. Cambridge as a space poses its own unique challenges, so it’s been fantastic to work with Student Minds Cambridge to address these things and have a real impact.
What is your favourite self-care tip?
If you’re having a bad mental health day, try going for a hot shower if you can manage it. It’s amazing what feeling clean and warm can do for your mood, and is also a great space for thinking clearly!
What would you improve about welfare in Cambridge?
I have always been concerned by the disparity of welfare services in Cambridge. There’s so many great options out there for those struggling with their mental health, but the experience of seeking and accepting help can vary wildly from college to college because of their status as self-governed, separate entities. For example, the standard of college counselling is not equal or centrally regulated, meaning that accessing it can be a matter of luck.
What would you recommend to someone who is struggling with mental health?
Take the first step and ask for help! It can seem like the scariest thing but asking for help was the best thing I ever did and I’m so much better off for it. So just tell someone you trust how you’re feeling and trust that the bad times are always temporary.
What’s the best thing someone can do to support their friends?
Ask them how you can support them! Everyone responds differently to different approaches and is willing to share a different amount, so it’s always helpful to let them lead and support them in ways they think will help them.
If you are struggling with your mental health, check out Find Support Cam – an online guide to finding mental health support in Cambridge.