Black History Month - Blog

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My journey to university was not a conventional one and I was the second person in my family to obtain a degree.

As a mature student that had been out of education a long time, being someone who didn’t finish school and had very little support, for me it was a struggle at times.

I struggled with anxiety and depression for the first time and the Psychology and Sociology texts I read, told me that someone like me, a mixed-race child from a disadvantaged background and a single-parent family, could end up on all sorts of destructive paths and certainly not the path to university! Did this knock me off course? No! It spurred me on! I refused to be a statistic. This is when I decided to take control of my life and my mental health.

In my role as an Academic & Welfare Adviser for the Students’ Union, I have the pleasure of meeting so many of you, that have struggled to get here too, and I understand what it means for you to be here.

Admitting we are struggling and that we need help is a taboo in the black community, but we need to face the reality that our mental health has been a big problem for a long time. It is a sign of strength not weakness when we speak up and ask for help and support.

The university’s Wellbeing Team can offer you this support. Talk to your GP, talk to your partners, talk to your friends, talk to your Personal Tutors and keep talking.

The more openly we discuss our mental health, the easier it will be for others to admit they need support too. Just a little support over a short period of time, might be all you need to get back on track and keep you here at university and reach your goals and aspirations.

If you have any hesitation about asking for support, come have a chat with an adviser from our free, confidential and independent Advice Service. We are available online at, over the phone at 0208 331 8267, or for drop-ins at Avery Hill, Greenwich or Medway. You can find more information here:


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