Opening up about my mental wellbeing as a medic student

University days are said to be some of the best, but when looking after your mental wellbeing, they can also be some of the hardest.

Navigating new independence,  often challenging friendships, cooking for yourself and running to those humbling 9 am lectures is a lot. 

Meanwhile, it is so important to be caring for your mental and physical wellbeing. 

Scarlett Hale, a Sheffield University ‘medfluencer’ knows well the challenges that come with taking on an emotionally intense degree, while also caring for your own mental health. 

A couple of months ago this viral Instagram reel of Scarlett’s blew up, reaching 2.5 million views :

Here, she is seen opening up about her own struggles as a medical student who suffers with anxiety and depression. 

We spoke to Scarlett Hale about her initial inspiration to become a doctor.

‘’The cliché of ‘I’ve always wanted to be a doctor’ is probably true. There’s a drawing my mum has from when I was younger, of what do you want to be when you grow up. I wrote I want to be a doctor, because they fix people with doctor things. I was only about four”, she said.

Scarlett was the first person in her family to attend University, coming from a village where few people go on to take further studies.

However, taking a medicine degree has a reputation for a good reason.

Scarlett said: ‘’There’s a lot of really stressful things you will see on placement. My first ever placement, fresh out of lecturers and onto the ward, I saw someone die. I had never seen anyone die. Later that week I had to go with a doctor to break the news to a family that their family member had incurable cancer, and that they would die.

Nothing can actually prepare you for seeing those things”, she says.

”The way I deal with it is being open with the others on my course, going for coffee and talking about our similar experiences and what we have found difficult. We are good at checking in with each other”, Scarlett said.

These are some of Scarlett’s tips for looking after your mental wellbeing while balancing academic commitments : 

-Plan out your week on Sunday evening or on Monday. Include every detail from gym classes to socialising and then you can see where you have gaps to revise.

-Listen to lectures while commuting, answer emails on the treadmill and if a lecture is particularly boring, get cracking on some flashcards.

-Make sleep a priority. This is a must if you want to feel refreshed and motivated to tackle all the tasks you have the next day. There’s no point pulling an all nighter studying if you’re going to lose a whole day the next day recovering.

-If  you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, just focus on the basics and all the extra stuff can be put on the back burner. 

-Be honest with yourself and others about your workload and if it’s manageable!

For more wellbeing content from the Messy bunch , click here : Health SOS – Messy (

Scarlett’s Instagram handle  : Scarlett | medical student (@scarletthale_) • Instagram photos and video

If you need professional assistance, you can call Samaritans 365 days a year, on 116 123.

If you are a University student yourself, Nightline association is a student-run listening service, where you can speak anonymously and freely about anything troubling you.

Listening Services Run by Students, For Students (

Read more here

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