Friday, February 21, 2020

How Tyson Fury Overcame His Depression

World Boxing champion Tyson Fury is a man that has triumphed over both mental and physical obstacles, and he maintains that his ongoing fight with depression is the toughest battle he has been involved in over the course of his storied career.

He said in an interview “The battle I continue to fight with myself on a daily basis is the hardest opponent I’ll ever face in my life,”

As one of the more prominent voices advocating for mental health awareness, the 30-year-old is committed to spreading knowledge about mental conditions and spelling out a clear path to help for individuals who feel they may need it. Fury understands that mental illness can affect anyone of age, gender, or physical fitness, and is committed to removing the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

How did Tyson Fury overcome his depression?

Fury states that the structure in his training routine and his return to active boxing played a significant role in helping him deal with his depression.

He said in one interview…”A structured routine in life is key – having short-term and long-term goals. I advise living a healthy clean life. What good is drinking? It poisons the body. There is nothing better than getting in the gym and getting the endorphins going.”

When interviewed on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast he said “I think the way to beat mental health is setting goals, giving yourself short term and long term goals.” Further in the conversation he said “I don’t suffer from mental health when I’m active and I’ve got a goal, if you suffer from mental health problems you tend to suffer when you’re on your own and you have a lot of time to think, but when you’re busy on a daily basis you don’t have much time to think about mental health.”


What you can do if you are feeling depressed right now

Be Social

Being outgoing can significantly improve your mood. Having connections with family and friends you can turn to when your mood takes a turn for the worse is the best way to deal with depressive episodes.

Move It! Move It!

Some studies show that physical exercise can help improve your mood. It is said that Exercising releases endorphins that are scientifically proven to have a positive effect on your mood.

Structure Your Life

Depression sometimes presents as a negative spiral in which you fall into more negative habits. When you have a routine, you’re less likely to spiral. As mentioned above Tyson Fury found when he was busy day to day he didn’t have time to stew in negative thoughts.

Don’t Be Scared

Fear makes everything worse. It is understandable that you may feel like you just want to lock yourself in your room, when you’re in a low mood, but this shouldn’t prevent you from taking the most important step, and reaching out to people that can provide the assistance you need.

Cut Down On The Drinking

Alcohol may serve as a coping mechanism, and often only serves to transiently relieve the symptoms but the underlying problem still remains. Read our blog post on how alcohol affects your mental health.

Eat Healthy

Aside from the role proper nutrition plays on mental health, people who are depressed may either abstain from food and become underweight, or become indulgent and put on more weight than is healthy. Eating a healthy diet will promote a healthy mind as opposed to eating junk food and rubbish.

Jump In A Cold Shower

Another safe activity you can indulge in that releases the much sought after endorphins is the cold shower.


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Monday, February 17, 2020

Video Blog #10 – What Is Anxiety?

In this video blog we will be giving a brief overview of Anxiety. Including it’s symptoms, how common it is and ways to alleviate any anxiety you may be facing.

For further information on the Disabled student allowance.

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Why Students Don’t Claim The DSA

A 2020 mental health report published by Randstad (view here) showed results of a survey of over 1,800 students about their current state of mental wellbeing. The results of this study show a shocking deterioration of mental health among individuals in higher education. As much as 64 percent of respondents claimed that their studies and the University lifestyle has negatively affected their health.

Further analysis of the report showed that more than half of respondents had considered leaving their course but they said that access to DSA (Disabled Students’ Allowance), as well as the psychological support they received proved to be enough to convince them to stick with their studies.

A different report from the Department for Education in England, as discussed in this BBC News article revealed 60% of eligible students had never heard of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) – That is a surprisingly high number of eligible students that aren’t aware of the existence of the DSA and how they can go about claiming benefits.

In a world where the pressure associated with higher education can tilt some students over the edge, the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) can prove to be the edge you need to see your education through.

Apart from simply not knowing the DSA exists, we have compiled below some of the other reasons that students may not apply…


Other Reasons Why Students Don’t Claim The DSA

  • Students assume that they have to be registered as disabled to claim – Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be registered as disabled to claim the DSA.
  • Students often have a misunderstanding of the term disabled – You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.
  • Thinking that other people deserve it more – Students should understand that applying for the DSA does not prevent other more deserving people from getting the help they need. Individuals who apply for the DSA are screened to ensure that the assistance is given where it is most needed, and the amount dispensed is tailored to each person.
  • They don’t think it’s going to help – What support you receive is tailored specifically to your disability. Our assessors have a great deal of experience with a range of disabilities and we are confident that whatever we do recommend will make your studies a lot easier for you.
  • It’s embarrassing – One of the more common reasons preventing students from applying for the DSA is the fear that it would reveal a personal issue that they’d rather keep private. The process for applying for and receiving the DSA is kept as confidential as possible, and no personal details are revealed to the university unless the applicant wishes it.

The DSA can be a lifeline when you need it the most, giving you the opportunity for success in your journey in higher education.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Video Blog #9 – How Social Media Affects Our Mental Health

No one can deny that social media has brought numerous advantages to our lives. So, we can’t consider it generally a bad thing. However, research and everyday experience show us that social media has the power to affect our mental health and interpersonal relationships if we don’t find a healthy way to balance it. This video looks into this further.

For further information on the Disabled student allowance.

The post Video Blog #9 – How Social Media Affects Our Mental Health appeared first on A2B Assessments DSA Needs Assessment Centre.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

How Alcohol Affects Your Mental Health

As there seems to be a bit of a buzz around Dry January, we thought we would take a deeper look into how alcohol can affect your mental health…

How Alcohol Affects Your Mental Health

Different studies show that people tend to drink the most during late adolescence and throughout their twenties. Around 80 percent of college and university students say that they consume alcohol, while roughly 50 percent of them engage in binge drinking.

Whether it is a desire to experiment with your freedom and independence or a way of coping with life challenges, alcohol consumption can have serious consequences on your academic performance, relationships, and health.

Seven UK universities got together and carried out a survey on their undergraduate students and discovered high rates of dangerous drinking, the results were that 41% of those who took part were identified as ‘hazardous drinkers’, 11% ‘harmful drinkers’ and a further 10% as ‘probably alcohol dependent’.

While an occasional glass of wine or beer won’t cause significant damage, heavy drinking can put your health at risk. Here are the most common consequences associated with excessive drinking…

Heavy Drinking and the Brain

What starts as an occasional drink or two can easily turn into three, four or more drinks and lead to drinking more often. Drinking regularly will cause your body to start building a tolerance to alcohol which means that you will need more alcohol to get the same effect.

The cumulative effect of drinking can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. Long-term alcohol consumption can cause shrinking of gray matter in frontal lobes of your brain that governs functions such as problem-solving, memory, emotional expression, social behavior, and decision-making. Exposure to alcohol destroys brain cells and has long-lasting effects on neurotransmitters in the brain, decreasing their effectiveness.

One study asked 772 college students about their experiences with alcohol-caused blackouts and memory loss. Of 772 students, 51 percent reported that they had experienced blackout (a temporary loss of consciousness or memory) at some point in their lives.

Regular consumption of alcohol changes the chemistry of the brain, decreasing the levels of the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin is a key chemical in mental health disorders such as depression. So, drinking reduces serotonin levels in your brain, causing you to feel depressed.

the affects of alcohol on mental health

Can Alcohol Cause Depression?

There is a two-way relationship between excessive drinking and mental health. Mental health issues not only result from excessive drinking, but they can also cause you to drink too much.

Namely, most of us drink to boost our mood, because alcohol can temporarily alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression, ease our problems, and take away the sadness. Research shows that many people, particularly men, use alcohol as a form of self-medication in an attempt to cope with life challenges and/or mental health problems.

However, drinking may make existing mental health problems worse. Studies show that people who drink excessively are prone to a higher risk of developing mental health problems. For example, drinking can be a contributing factor to depression.

Drinking and Behaviour

Alcohol can change your usual behaviour and inhibit your mental clarity to make sound decisions. Drinking can lower your inhibition and cause you to engage in risk-taking behaviours that pose health to personal safety as well as the safety of others.

Studies show that nearly 700,000 students age 18-24 have been assaulted by someone under the influence of alcohol. Also, alcohol may confuse you and make you incoherent to fight back in case of sexual assault, which is the reason why many sexual offenders prey on victims who have been drinking. Sexual assault can have long-lasting consequences on a person’s physical and mental health.

Can Alcohol Affect Your Academic Performance?

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to poor grades and other academic problems. Drinking may become a priority, so you may start missing classes, completing homework, and studying for exams.

Failing classes and not taking exams can take you more time and money to complete your degree program and push back your graduation or even cause you to drop out of college.

does alcohol cause depression

Alcohol Dependency

Some people who drink excessively may develop physical and emotional alcohol dependency. Alcohol withdrawal may be difficult and often requires professional help to end alcohol addiction. The most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include anxiety, nausea, tremors, nervousness, heavy sweating, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure. Also, hallucinations, seizures, and delirium may occur in severe cases of withdrawal.

How To Drink Responsibly

If you are going to drink try to drink responsibly. Don’t be pressured into drinking more than you want, be aware of your own limits and stick to these. Longer drinks generally have a lesser concentration of alcohol than shots and short drinks and try interspersing these with soft drinks. Don’t ever leave your drink unattended, if you do, don’t drink it and order a replacement.

Alcohol doesn’t solve life problems. Excessive drinking can make your life challenges even worse in the long run. Alcohol consumption may hinder your academic performance, strain your relationships, and cause severe damage to both your physical and mental health.

Thanks for reading,

A2B Assessments, DSA Assessment centre

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

New Grant Available For Nursing Students

Boris Johnson showcases his intent in strengthening the NHS with a new grant available to nursing students of at least £5,000 starting this year.

He made this pledge in the conservative manifesto as part of efforts to reverse the policies by the Conservative party which led to the declining number of prospective nurses. The Prime Minister has pledged that the funding will return in the coming academic year, and will be available to all new and existing degree-level nursing, midwifery and allied health students beginning from September 2020.

This financial aid is part of the Prime Minister’s pledge to increase the number of nurses in the NHS by 50,000 in the next 5 years. As part of this attempt, nursing students will receive £5,000 per year, with an addition £3,000 available if they are:

  • Enrolled in specialist disciplines with poor recruitment rates including mental health
  • In need of an additional childcare allowance, other than the £1,000 already available
  • From areas of the country with a lower uptake rate for nursing, midwifery and allied health courses over the past year

Eligible students will have the opportunity to receive up to £8,000 a year in financial aid while all students will receive at least £5,000 starting from this year. It is important to note that this funding will not need to be repaid by the recipients, and that students who receive this funding will also be able to access additional funding for tuition and maintenance loans from the Student Loans Company.

Further details on the grant and how to apply can be found on the .Gov website

All the best,

A2B Assessments

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Monday, January 20, 2020

12 Tips For Reducing Exam Stress

We all know how stressful exams can be. We’ve all pulled frantic all-nighters, trying to cram the last bit of information into our skulls before the day dawns. We’ve all felt that desperation as we struggle to revise, trying to get to the end of our notes because it just might be part of the exams.

Well, that’s no way to live, and this certainly is no way to learn. Stress before exams have proven to be directly related to lower information retention and poor exam success rates. Which is why we have compiled a list of 12 tips for reducing exam stress:

  1. Plan, plan, plan. Structure your revision properly, no matter how close or far way the exam is. Having a revision plan will help you keep track of your progress and help you retain a sense of control as you study.
  2. Focus on the bigger picture. You can use mind maps to see how it all comes together.
  3. Take a break! Sometimes, we’re too focused on appearing to study even though we aren’t actually making any progress. Take a break, you’ll retain more that way.
  4. Schedule your revision times so that they’re short, convenient and fruitful. Work when you know your brain can accept new information, anything else is counterproductive.
  5. Avoid social media. Twitter and Instagram can wait until you’re done studying. You can use apps to restrict your access to social media sites while you study. Check out our post on the Forest app.
  6. Develop healthy sleeping habits. You need them even more when you’re studying and under a lot of stress. To learn more on the importance of sleep check out this fascinating podcast episode.
  7. Exercise if it helps you feel better, watch a movie if it doesn’t. Eat healthy, do something that rewards your brain for the effort it’s putting in.
  8. It may seem like a good idea at first, but caffeine can actually harm your concentration. Drink a lot of water and fruit juices instead.
  9. Have fun! Have fun! It’s so important we said it twice.
  10. Revise in a group. You’ll get more information and split up the burden of gathering materials that way.
  11. Avoid bad energy. Anxiety is contagious, study around people who obviously have a plan and are dedicated to constructive study.
  12. Take deep breaths. Don’t be anxious. This too shall pass.

Good luck in your exams,

A2B Assessments,

DSA Assessment.

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