AUT students have too much pride to ask for help

May 11, 2018

AUT students have too much pride to ask for help

Students becoming increasingly more stressed to meet deadlines. Photo: Gabrielle Tutheridge.

AUT students are under immense pressure but have too much pride to speak to a counsellor says one current student.

With exams and assignment deadlines looming, the need for outlets where students can go for help is crucial.

First year Communications student, Madison Dearlove, says her current workload is daunting.

“We’ve realised how much of a step up it is from high school. It makes you wonder what the heck are the exams going to be like,”

Ms Dearlove is under the impression students feel as if going to see an AUT counsellor over stress is “too silly.”

Audrey Hutcheson, head of counselling at AUT, says the issue is a cultural one.

“The destigmatising of mental health has made some progress, however for some people seeking help and going to a counsellor still carries a stigma for them.”

Mx Hutcheson believes that everyone’s stress is different, and if you are stressed you should not compare yourself to others.

Mx Hutcheson says, “The first step to deal with stress is to be able to identify how to manage and this is something that a counsellor can help you with.”

AUT’s student association, AUTSA, are working on new awareness campaigns to advertise the importance of mental health.

Dharyin Colbert, AUTSA’s President, believes that there are many reasons why students would hold back from speaking to a counsellor.

“Irrational stigma and cultural stereotypes often play a big part. Big personal circumstances, put huge pressures on students,

“It is such an important kaupapa…we have to support our students during exam season,” he says.

AUTSA is working to combat the stigma by creating more causal outlets for stress relief.

“(We’re) putting together some really cool events during and around exam weeks, that give you a break, a place to chill out for a minute, and hear how important it is to take care of yourself,” says Mr Colbert.

Mx Hutcheson says the most important thing to do is to ask for help when you need it.

“If you had a friend who was struggling, you would want to help them.”

Note: Mx is used here as a gender-neutral pronoun.

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