When you gain your place at university you are required to declare any health concerns or problems that you have, and you may be referred to occupational health to discuss this further.
Don’t be afraid of occupational health!
They are not there to stop your midwifery dream! They are there to help you gain any extra support you need and ensure that allowances are made, as well as ensure you have the correct vaccinations to work as an NHS midwife.
I had a bit of a mental breakdown 5 years ago now (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long). The trauma I suffered from the birth of my son had never been dealt with and I finally caved in to my PTSD symptoms, being signed off of work for 3 months, undertaking CBT sessions and being prescribed an SSRI to help me re-balance.
I know a lot of people are worried about declaring this to university, but I didn’t even think about the fact that it would hold me back. I wanted them to know that even I wasn’t aware if I would have a ‘wobble’ at some point. If they knew about it beforehand, then they could help me if I needed it.
So many more people than you will ever realise have health concerns that are private to them, but I really do advise letting the university know so that you have full backing from them if you need to extra support.
I know everyone is different, but something I was a little concerned about was whether my anxiety would rear its head again when I was in the throes of university work and maybe feeling a little overwhelmed with it all. For me, it has been the complete opposite and I’ve never felt better in my mental health (well I probably have, but it was so long ago that I can’t remember).
I think there’s something about feeling fulfilled and that for me comes from finally achieving something I have wanted for so long and being able to train as a midwife.
If you do have health concerns and are worried that maybe it could physically hold you back from pursuing you career dreams, you can’t go wrong with asking a forum of people for advice.
One place that is superb in getting a response ‘en masse’, is the Secret Community for Midwives in the Making on Facebook. It is a group you will need to request to join, but there are over 23,000 members in there, so I’m sure someone would be able to answer any queries you have.
I admit, I’ve never been someone who has let my anxiety/depression be a stigma for me to hide. I’ve always been pretty open about it (I even shared all in my original blog that I wrote), so I understand it may not be as easy for some of you to think about disclosing all to someone when you’ve always worried it will hold you back.
But, out of all the people I have met in my midwifery journey so far, no-one has been told ‘no’ due to a health concern that they previously thought would mean they couldn’t reach their career dreams.
If you want to ask any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me on my Instagram page @thelifeofastudentmidwife