Author: Matt King

Coping with feeling lonely

How To Cope With Being Lonely

All of us will feel lonely at some point in our lives, and it can be difficult to cope with. But there are things you can do to feel better and people who can help. When it comes to mental health, it’s so important to remember you are never, ever alone. Not at college, not at home. There are a vast amount of resources, charities and people who you can talk to, who will listen, who can help.

What is Loneliness?

We can all feel lonely sometimes for many different reasons, including at times of difficult change in our lives, such as moving to a new city, because of relationships or friendships ending, or because of a bereavement. Sometimes, we can feel lonely even if we are around lots of people or have lots of friends.

It can be hard to find friends who get us or can relate to our experiences. Social media can make us feel extremely isolated, especially if we are being bullied or feel disconnected from the ‘perfect lives’ we see. Even if we have loads of followers, it can feel like everyone else is surrounded by friends and loved ones and having a good time; this can make things feel much harder when we are feeling alone and not sure who to turn to for support.

When You Might Feel Lonely

Loneliness can be difficult to cope with and can start to affect our mental health, making us feel sad, depressed, or giving us feelings of low self-esteem. Sometimes, if we are already struggling with our mental health it can feel difficult for us to interact with our loved ones in the way we usually do. This can then make us feel isolated and lonely when we didn’t feel this way before. But life doesn’t have to be this way; if you’re feeling lonely, there are things you can do to feel better.

You Might Also Feel Lonely When:

You may also find that you feel lonely when:

  • you start a new school, university or place of work and are finding it hard to make friends
  • you experience a bereavement or loss of someone close to you
    a relationship or friendship changes
  • you go through something that your peers haven’t or are unable to relate to
  • you feel very different from your peers or people around you
  • you aren’t able to do the things you see others doing
  • you are struggling with your sexuality or gender identity

Things That Might Help You Feel Less Lonely:

Spending time alone might not seem fun, but the more time you spend doing things you enjoy and being kind to yourself the more confident you will feel. It’s ok to have time just for yourself.

It is important to have ways to express yourself, even if right now you don’t have people close to you who you can talk to. Keeping a journal can help you to track your mood and reading over it might help you to see things that keep happening in your life which you might need some help with. Some people like to express themselves through drawing, painting, music, fashion or sport.

You don’t have to be good at something to give it a go and enjoy it. A regular hobby with other people can help you build new friendships and have fun. It can feel really nerve-wracking to turn up to a new place, especially if the people already know each other, but you’re likely to find people who are very happy and willing to help you settle in.

This can be a great way to learn a new skill, give back to your community, feel good about yourself and meet people passionate about the same things as you. Vinspired have lots of volunteering opportunities which you can search for according to where you live.

If there is something you absolutely love there will be other people out there who feel the same. Whether that’s an online fan forum or a local writers’ group, find ways to connect with the things you love and you might be surprised about what opportunities that leads to.

Read some more:

Talk To Someone

Talk to someone you trust. It could be your parents or wider family members, like older cousins, aunts or uncles. Outside home, it could be a teacher, a neighbour or a close family friend. You can also speak to your GP about how you’re feeling.They can listen, tell you about local services and support groups, or they may suggest specific treatment for the way you’re feeling.

KC have a dedicated, friendly Safeguarding Team who are always on hand. You can either pop down to Student Services to speak to them or drop them an email at

All emails are treated confidentially.

What’s Happening With Ukraine?

We need to talk about Ukraine

There is a lot going on in the world right now that we need to talk about, especially in Ukraine. We’ve put together a list of resources, details and facts about what is currently going on to ensure you guys stay informed, are able to spot fake news and to help deal with any emotions the current state of the world may bring up.

There is a lot of information to go through, so we recommend you grab a cup of tea. If you have any extra resources that we can add to this post, please do let us know. We will be updating it as events unfold.

KC have set up a donation station in our reception area along with a list of things that are greatly needed. Over the upcoming weeks, we’ll be boxing up all the donations and ensuring that they are sent to where they are needed most.

So what is actually happening?

On the 24th February 2022, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, said that Russia could not feel “safe, develop and exist” because of what he claimed was a constant threat from modern Ukraine. He claimed his goal was to protect people subjected to bullying and genocide and aim for the “demilitarisation and de-Nazification” of Ukraine. There has been no genocide in Ukraine: it is a vibrant democracy, led by a president who is Jewish.

Immediately the Russian President’s statement, airports and military headquarters were attacked, then tanks and troops rolled in from Russia, Russian-annexed Crimea (this means Russia is in control here) and its ally Belarus (Belarus is a neighbouring country to Russia and is offering it’s support to the Russian invasion). Now, warplanes have bombed major cities, and Russian forces have seized control of the key southern port city Kherson.

Russia refuses to use the terms war or even invasion; many of its leader’s justifications for it were false or irrational.


It’s important to stay informed with what’s going on in the world, as more often than not, it shapes what happens here in the UK.

Here are few videos which explain what’s happening in Ukraine:

Podcasts to check out:

There are many ways to stay informed about what is unfolding in Ukraine, here are a list of interesting Podcasts that explain what has happened, what is happening and how it is affecting the world around us.

What is Nato?

Nato stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and is an international organisation which brings together the armies of various countries, including the UK, the United States and France.

It was formed by 12 countries in 1949, four years after the Second World War (WW2). As of 2022, Nato now has 30 member countries, these include: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

The aim of Nato is to make sure that its member countries don’t fight each other, and that instead they use their forces to work together for world peace. Now, Nato member countries agree that if any one of them is attacked, the other countries will come to help them. It’s hoped this will stop military attacks on any Nato country.

Its original aim was to tackle the threat of Russian expansion in Europe after WW2.

Why is Russia unhappy with Nato and Ukraine?

Ukraine used to be part of the Soviet Union. It borders both Russia and a group of Western European countries, known as the European Union. It is not a Nato member, but it is a “partner country” – this means there is an understanding that it may be allowed to join the group sometime in the future. Russia wants promises from Western countries, including the US and UK, that this will never happen. However, the US is refusing to stop Ukraine from joining Nato, saying that Ukraine should be free to decide on its own security partnerships.

For more information, take look at this article

What's it like living in Russia right now?

It’s really important to note that just because the Russian government have invaded Ukraine, this is not necessarily what Russian Citizens want. It’s important to keep an open mind and look at all the different viewpoints. Russians opposed (against) what is happening in Ukraine have very little power to stop what their government is doing. There was been multiple protests across Russia against what is happening.

Due to sanctions imposed by the rest of the world, life is becoming increasingly difficult for Russian nationals.

Why is Chelsea Being Sold?

One of the things you have probably seen recently is that Chelsea football team are up for sale. Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, is a Russian billionaire. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the UK and EU have started to bring in financial sanctions against Russia. A sanction is a penalty applied to a country by another when they are seen to be doing something wrong. The European Union has brought in financial sanctions against Russian billionaires, which means the billionaires can’t access their money outside of Russia, including property and businesses.

There’s a really interesting Newsround Article  here explaining a bit more about why the football club has been put on the market and what the valuation of it is (we wish we had that sort of money!)

Spotting Fake News About Ukraine

We live in an online world.  24/7 access to social media means that we are constantly bombarded with news, ‘facts’, statements and opinions. It’s hugely important to be able to identify fake news, or where something has been made up (fabricated). You cannot believe everything you see online, it’s important to know the tell-tale signs of disinformation and misinformation as well as facts and truth.

First Draft  – Twitter Thread about Disinformation and Misinformation

This Twitter thread shows how to fact-check and work out if what you’re reading is the truth or is something being misrepresented. With all the eyes of the world watching the events unfold in Ukraine, our social feeds are vulnerable to being manipulated. Taking time to fact-check what you’re reading is a great habit to get into and means you can spot fake news more easily when you scroll across it.

What is Fake News?

Here is an amazing article which explains what fake news is, why people create fake news and how to spot it.

Be savvy with Tiktok

One of the big sources of information right now is TikTok; some people would rather get their news from social media instead of traditional news outlets, but you have to be careful that these videos are genuine and verified. The best place to get verified content is from verified news sources such as the BBC, Global World News, and Sky News

It’s also worth learning how to spot misleading stories; there’s an article here about what the telltale signs of fake news can look like, particularly in relation to the current events in Ukraine: Spotting misleading stories about Ukraine Online

It’s also a good idea to brush up on how you look after yourself online and about how what you type and share on the internet, can have an impact on your future.

What can I do if I feel sad after seeing the news?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the stories you’re hearing, you can:

  • Tell someone you feel comfortable with. Talking about your worries can make you feel less alone.
  • Focus on the positive things you hear in the news or in your personal life.
  • Take a break from the news. It’s easy to get sucked into a news story. Take a break, read, watch or listen to something completely different.
  • Protect yourself from offensive content online. Many social media platforms allow you to block or report disturbing imagery or offensive comments.
  • Read our article on How to Protect Your Mental Health Online.
  • Get in touch with our support services to talk things through.
  • Take action – activism can be a great way to deal with feeling helpless. If you want to do something to help people in the Ukraine, there are some ideas here.

The news is making me anxious

Hearing about scary or upsetting things in the news can lead to feelings of anxiety. If you’re feeling concerned about something you’ve read, heard or watched, we’ve got some tips to help.

Being exposed to the news constantly can have a detrimental effect on mental health – whether that’s on TV, on the radio or on social media. It’s a good thing to feel connected to the world but hearing stories about war or terrorist attacks can also make you feel anxious or unsafe. The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to feel like this.

Hearing about scary or upsetting things in the news can lead to feelings of anxiety. If you’re feeling concerned about something you’ve read, heard or watched, we’ve got some tips to help.

Being exposed to the news constantly can have a detrimental effect on mental health – whether that’s on TV, on the radio or on social media. It’s a good thing to feel connected to the world but hearing stories about war or terrorist attacks can also make you feel anxious or unsafe. The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to feel like this.

I feel anxious about my own life, what can I do?

When tragic events like a new war, terrorist bombings or shootings happen, you might worry that similar things might happen to you or someone you know. This can feel even worse if you’ve been reading your local news; where crimes might be happening in your area, as an example.

While this is a very normal concern, it is important to remember that these events are very isolated. They are rare and that is why they have made the news. The likelihood that the same bad thing will happen to you is small.

What is being done to keep us safe?

It’s important to remember that Boris Jonson has confirmed the UK will not engage in direct conflict with Russia, so military conflict between Britain and Russia is extremely unlikely. Find out more about this issue here.

The government and our police are dedicated to keeping people in the UK safe from all kinds of crime, ranging from the minor to extreme. Extra precautions put in place to keep you safe include:

  • Extra police officers in towns and public spaces like train stations and stadiums.
  • Strict checks and high security at airports.
  • The government and police have hired specially trained experts to protect the UK

Remember, it's rare

Don’t forget – terrible things are on the news because they are rare and do not happen very often.

Although people are spending a lot of time talking about it, it is still very unlikely that events like this will affect you or your family.

The most important thing is that if you are feeling upset, don’t keep what’s troubling you about the news to yourself.

Talk to an adult about the issue in the news that is worrying you.

That can help you to understand what is upsetting you, and help those feelings of sadness, anger or confusion to go away.

We're here if you need to talk

KC have a dedicated Safeguarding Team who are always on hand, either in person or via email:

We also have our own counsellor who you can book appointments with; pop to reception and speak to Student Services to arrange a session.

Self Harm Awareness

We think it’s important to talk about self harm so we can understand what it is, why people might do it, how they can do it safely and how they can access support.

Self harm is difficult to talk about but it’s a common problem and you can beat it.

What is Self Harm?

Self harm takes many different forms and can include any behaviour that is not in our best interests, that we use to try and deal with an emotional pain.

Someone who is self harming might do things like cutting or burning themselves, or they might also do a wide range of other things to help them deal with painful feelings. Self harm is a coping mechanism, it’s a way of feeling in control when your emotions are spiralling. And it’s often temporary relief for difficult feelings that a person is otherwise struggling to express.

If you are self harming, we want you to feel safe and comfortable opening up about your experiences and sharing your stories with others, so you know that you are not alone.

Why Do People Self Harm?

Self harm is when you hurt yourself on purpose to relieve feelings of distress. People sometimes self-harm when life feels hard to cope with.

If you self harm, you might be dealing with lots of intense thoughts and feelings and hurting yourself feels like the only way to let those feelings out. Or you might feel numb and want to hurt yourself so that you can feel something.

It is important to note that self harm is not always obvious. You might find yourself doing things which are harmful, but not think of them as ‘self harm’.

Often self harm only brings temporary relief. This means that later, when things start to build up again, we might feel like we have to harm again. It can be really hard to break out of this cycle. And it can be upsetting to think that this is our only way to cope. But there are things you can do to stop self-harming and get better.

Things can happen in life that can leave us feeling overwhelmed, angry and hurt. Instead of finding ways to express those feelings to the world, we start to take this pain and anger out on ourselves.

We might self harm because we have learnt that in order to be accepted or loved we have to be ‘perfect’. When we don’t live up to this ‘perfect’ image we can feel like a ‘failure’. The constant guilt, or worry about disappointing people, can make us feel like we need to punish ourselves for not being ‘good enough’. With the right support, you can stop feeling this way, and learn to love yourself for who you are.

We might self harm because we are angry and upset about being treated badly. If we are treated in a way that makes us feel invisible, unimportant or unloved, it can make us feel like there is something wrong with us. But the truth is, you matter. You are worthy of respect and love exactly the way you are, and you deserve help.

Self harm is a way to show the feelings you have inside on the outside. It might cause you to experience:

  • pain or discomfort
  • temporary physical marks
  • scarring
  • feelings of sickness or dizziness
  • feelings of weakness, shame or disgust
  • feeling scared, out of control or confused by why you are doing this
  • feelings of isolation and loneliness

Breaking The Stigma

The stigma surrounding self harm is a bit like the stigma around mental health; people in the past haven’t wanted to talk about it, they haven’t wanted to acknowledge it and they haven’t known how to approach it. But that was the past. This is the future. And it’s all about communicating, opening up and talking.

This is important:

Talking about how you’re feeling with someone you trust can feel like a relief. This person could be a friend, family member, teacher, school counsellor/nurse, or youth worker. Think about who you feel safe with and how you would feel most comfortable communicating, whether it’s face to face, over the phone, by text or email

It’s understandable if you’re worried no one will understand you, or that people might judge you. But don’t worry, there are lots of trained people who do understand and really care. That’s because they speak to thousands of young people who are going through this too. Nothing you can say will shock them, and they are here to listen and support you. Please take a look at the list of organisations at the end of this page, and don’t struggle on your own.

Professional support can make a massive difference. It’s ok to ask for help when you need it. We all need help sometimes, it doesn’t make you weak – in fact reaching out takes bravery and strength.

Your GP can refer you to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) so you can have an assessment and get the treatment that is right for you. You might be offered counselling or talking therapy, where you can talk with trained mental health professionals about what you are feeling and ways you can cope.

Things that might help:

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep shouting it from the rooftops. You. Are. Not. Alone. It sometimes might feel like that, but we promise, you really aren’t. It really does help if you talk to someone, but if you’re not ready just yet, there are other ways you can slowly move to recovery:

Read about Maddie Bruce’s story on recovering from self harm HERE

This is pretty inspiring, and shows just how not alone you really are. It also shows that any one can self harm, but there is a way out and you will get there.

You can find out about how to approach your GP about self harming HERE

If you think you’re ready to take the step to speak to your GP, this article gives you some really good advice and tips

Make yourself a Soothe Box

When you start to feel the emotions becoming uncontrollable, it might be worth making yourself a Soothe Box, something that you know will help calm you down and take away a bit of the anxiety.

Some Ideas:

There are some ways that can help, these are by no means quick fixes, but having an action plan for when you feel bad can be really helpful:

Take a few minutes every day to write down how you are feeling. This can be a helpful way to let out your emotions. It can also help you to recognise what is bothering you and any patterns in what triggers you or causes you to feel bad.

If you don’t like writing, try doodling or drawing. Remember this is just a way to express yourself, there’s no right or wrong way to do this.

If you want to, you could show your journal to any mental health professionals who are supporting you to help them understand what you are going through.

  • Consider how your use of social media is affecting your mood. Only follow accounts that make you feel positive and safe.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep and stay hydrated – this can reduce your stress levels.
  • Take time out when you need to.
  • Think of three things you are grateful for each day.
  • Be as kind to yourself as you would be to your best friend – think about the advice and support you would give someone else if you heard they were struggling.
  • It’s really important to keep yourself as safe as possible and reduce your risk of serious self-injury. Even though you want to stop self-harming, you might not feel able to stop straight away. Sometimes it can take time to find new ways to cope, and that’s normal. In the meantime, think about other things you can do in the moment when you feel the urge to self-harm building. You could try to:
    • go for a walk or do some gentle exercise
    • focus on your breathing
    • text a friend and let them know you need them to help you take your mind off things
    • play music and sing or dance along
    • hold an ice cube
    • write down your thoughts
    • hit a cushion or pillow
    • tear up a magazine or newspaper

A Friend Has Told Me They Are Self Harming...

If someone you care about has told you that they’re self-harming, this can be quite shocking and scary. It’s important to withhold judgement, and focus on keeping them safe – particularly if they’ve expressed suicidal thoughts. The best thing you can do is reassure them that you’ll be there for them, and to encourage them to seek professional support when they feel ready

The Mix have an amazing resource about how to support someone who is self harming, you can find it HERE.

We also have a KC blog post about How To Be A Better Listener which has some great advice in it.

Where To Get Help:

  • Calm Harm – A free app providing support and strategies to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm.Can be downloaded from Google Play or App Store.
  • You can get confidential help with self-harm from ChildLine – either over the phone or through an online chat.
  • The Mix  have a Crisis Messenger provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you’re aged 25 or under, you can text THEMIX to 85258
  • Papyrus supports young people who are feeling suicidal – you can call, email or text them. Call on 0800 068 41 41.
  • Young Minds have a text support system, text YM to 85258. It provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust helps young people learn more about depression and the importance of looking after your mental health.
  • Our KC Safeguarding Team are always available, you can either speak to them when you’re in college or email them on:

Private Parts: Healthy Relationships


Relationships can be confusing. Especially if you really like someone but they do things you’re not comfortable with. So think about what feels right for you. We’ve put together a list of resources, advice and help to make sure you folks are as informed and as empowered as possible when it comes to relationships.

KC Survey

KC have set up a Healthy Sexual Relationships Survey;

Kidderminster College wants all students to in engage in healthy sexual relationships, and to be safe. It would be really helpful if you could honestly complete the above survey, so we can understand what issues you are facing, and what we can do to help. We will leave an anonymous reporting form open all year, so you can notify us and keep us to to date. Please remember you can always contact us directly at should you want action to be taken.

KC want your voice on this, any learner who would like to talk about this topic, and how we can tackle it, please let your personal tutor – or Student Services know. We want to hear your thoughts and views.

Making Sense Of How You Feel

Being in a new relationship can make you feel excited, happy and in control. It’s normal to enjoy getting compliments, feeling special and safe or like you’ve got more confidence.

But relationships can sometimes change and it can be hard to know when things are starting to go wrong.

In a healthy relationship someone shouldn’t try to control you. Controlling or threatening behaviour can be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or psychological. If your relationship doesn’t feel right, it may be time to end it.

Saying what you want

You have the right to say how you feel and to be respected. Consent in relationships is about feeling in control and saying yes or doing things because you choose to, not because someone is pressuring you to.

If someone is pressuring you to have sex, do something sexual, dangerous or violent, this is wrong.

If you ever feel unsure, unsafe or get that sick feeling in your tummy, it could mean you’re not comfortable with what’s happening.

Being in an unhealthy relationship can mean that you’re being exploited or abused. And this is never OK. So it’s important to listen to yourself.


  • good communication

  • mutual respect

  • trust

  • honesty

  • equality

  • being yourself.


Having sex is a big decision. If you don’t feel comfortable or ready to have sex or do sexual things with someone, then you don’t have to. The person you’re with should care about you enough not to pressure you or make you do something you’re not happy about.

Consent means agreeing to do something. People can stop giving consent at any time. Sex is only ever okay if both people involved want to have sex. Having sex if someone hasn’t given their consent (which means they don’t want to have sex) is illegal and is called rape.

There can be a lot of pressure from things like music videos or online porn to have sex. And it might seem like lots of other young people are doing it. Or talking about doing it. But this shouldn’t be a reason to start having sex. Everyone is different, and you should do it because you want to, you feel ready and you’re 16 or ove

But I've said yes before...

Even if you’ve said yes to something before or felt OK with stuff, you can still change your mind and say no. It can be confusing if someone is pressuring you.

Remember, it’s wrong for anyone to:

  • make you feel bad for saying no and to keep asking you
  • pressure you into feeling like you owe them something
  • bully you or call you names because they don’t agree with your decision
  • threaten to tell other people or share stuff online
  • offer you something in exchange for sex
  • force you into anything or hurt you.

It’s important to think about what feels right for you. And remember – always #ListenToYourSelfie.

Is your body trying to tell you something?

Often when something doesn’t seem right, your body reacts by:

  • your heart beating faster
  • sweating more or feeling hot
  • finding it harder to breathe
  • feeling uneasy or tighness in your tummy
  • having a dry throat
  • dizziness or feeling like your head is spinning
  • feeling stiff and tense.


Ending a relationship can be really difficult, and there are some things could put extra pressure on you. These could include things like grooming, blackmail or emotional pressure.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend makes you feel scared in your relationship, it’s important to get support. Try talking to an adult you trust or a member of the KC Safeguarding Team

Having a safety plan can also help keep you safe. Read the safety plan instructions below and make sure you keep your plan in a safe place where your partner won’t see it.


Plan what you want to say

Focus on your feelings but remember to clearly say that you want to end things.

Pick a neutral place

Meet in neutral place with other people around. This is important for staying safe.

Plan how you'll get home

Plan how you’ll get home safely before you meet up. It’s also a good idea to let a friend or family member know where you’re going.

Talk to people you trust

Getting support from your family, friends and people you trust can really help you to feel better.

Distract yourself

Spend some time doing things that make you feel good about yourself. Find out what you like, what you’re good at or try joining a club.

Look after yourself

Taking care of yourself can include things like trying not to go out too much or drink too much. You may be tempted to contact your ex or feel vulnerable.

Remember it's not your fault

If they contact you again, remember this isn’t fair and remember they should respect your decision. If they pressure or threaten you, talk to an adult you trust.

If you’re worried, please make sure you talk to someone; whether it’s a parent, friend or one of KC’s Safeguarding Team

You can also check out some of the other resources below

International Men’s Day

Celebrate the men in your life

“On November 19th International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. We highlight positive role models and raise awareness of men’s well-being”.

Things to do for IMD

“Since 1999, methods of celebrating International Men’s Day have included public seminars, forums, conferences, festivals and fundraisers, classroom activities at schools, Movember fundraisers, Parliamentary speeches, government observances, radio and television programs, church observations, prayer meetings, award ceremonies, special retail promotions, photos & film competitions, music concerts & art displays, and peaceful awareness marches”.

How you at home can help!

Get on social media

Post info about the day on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram using hashtags like #internationalmensday #celebratemen #menshealth #stopmalesuicide #thankamantoday.
Celebrate the important men in your life by posting about them on social media.

Organise an event

The manner of observing this annual day is optional; any organisations are welcome to host their own events and any appropriate forums can be used.

If you are a community leader or champion for the cause, you could approach your local council and other community leaders and together put on a fun local event to celebrate International Men’s Day.

On our resources page you can find download links to:

Thank the important men in your life.

Whether this is a partner, father, or role model, just saying ‘thanks’ can go a long way. Don’t forget to take time to make special mention of the brave men who protect our communities in the Emergency Services or key people in your organisation.

6 Pillars of International Men's Day

  1. To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  2. To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  3. To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  4. To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law
  5. To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
  6. To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential

“IMD is also a platform to raise awareness to the challenges that men face in life – especially in relation to the international male suicide rate.

International Men’s Day can also be celebrated at an individual and family level, by spending special time with the men in your life, in appreciation of how they enrich the lives of those around them.

Writing letters or cards and posting them to your friends, family, relatives and people you admire and have contributed to your life about how much you appreciate them is another great gesture”.

Want to talk to someone?

Statistics show that men are less likely to talk about their feelings and particularly mental health difficulties. It’s important to understand that it’s okay not to be okay. There is lots of support out there from friends and family to professional services. Here are some listed below:

HIS Mental Health and Prevention of suicide – An organisation that works on improving men’s wellbeing and mental health. They focus on reducing isolation and increasing social capacity to reduce the stigma of mental health within communities and to support those affected by suicide.

About Us – HiS Charity

Man Health – Time to Listen – An organisation that specialises in supporting men with their mental health and provides advice on how men can talk about their mental health.

ManHealth “Time to Listen” | ManHealth provide support to men who experiencing mental health issue. ManHealth provide male peer support groups, training on health inequalities affecting men and campaign to raise awareness about men’s health.

Blue Ribbon Foundation – An organisation that is passionate about promoting health and wellbeing for men and raising awareness of male health issues, they work to encourage men to take positive action to safeguard their mental health.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation – Male Health and Wellbeing Charity

KC Safeguarding

We also have a dedicated safeguarding team who are more than happy to speak with you if you are having issues inside and outside of college, this is strictly confidential, to access this service, please email or visit Student Services.

KC Counselling

We also have a college counselling service if you are feeling lost or are unsure of what support is available, if you would like more information on how to access this service, please visit or contact Student Services on 01562 512000 or email


Private Parts: Looking After Yourself Online

Looking after yourself online

We pretty much live online; from social media to ordering our clothes, we’re constantly connected and active. However, it’s not always easy to know what’s safe online and what’s not. Our advice can help you to keep safe and to know what to do when things go wrong.

5 ways to get support if things go wrong

  1. Talk to someone you trust like an adult, or you can always talk to a Childline counsellor
  2. Report bullying and abuse directly to the website or app
  3. Delete things you’ve shared that you’re worried about,or find ways to hide them
  4. Tell the police by making a report to CEOP if someone is threatening or blackmailing you
  5. Plan for the future and change your privacy settings so it doesn’t happen again

What are the risks?

There are lots of fun and interesting things you can do on the internet. And it can be a great way to stay in touch with friends. But it’s important to understand how to stay safe online.

Sometimes people will try to trick you into clicking dangerous links or sharing things about yourself. Or something you’ve shared might be used to bully or frighten you.

Tips for staying safe online

Think before you post

Don’t upload or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, teachers or future employers seeing. Once you post something, you lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it. We have a blog post all about how ‘What You Type Has An Impact.’ 

Be aware of your digital footprint

Every time you go online you leave a digital ‘footprint’ which shows others where you are and what you have been doing. While posting pictures and videos is great for sharing with friends and being creative, always remember that once an image or file is online it’s likely to stay there forever. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see! You can check out more about this on our first instalment of Private Parts: Online Privacy and Your Digital Footprint

Don’t share personal details

Keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings. Remember that people can use small clues like a college logo in a photo to find out a lot about you.

Know who you’re dealing with

Lots of people only play or chat with people they know in person, and that’s a sensible approach. But if you do meet people you don’t know, use the same caution that you would offline. People may not be who they say they are, so be mindful about what you say about yourself. Keep chat general and if you are concerned that someone’s asking for personal details, stop contact and tell a trusted adult. Never arrange to meet someone you only know online.

Watch our for scams

Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them information, like your password. Someone might also try to trick you by saying they can make you famous or that they’re from a talent agency. Never click links from emails or messages that ask you to log in or share your details, even if you think they might be genuine. If you’re asked to log into a website, go to the app or site directly instead.

Keep your device secure

Make sure that you’re keeping your information and device secure.

Spotting fake news

The news you see online or on social media isn’t always going to be accurate. And it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake.

Some websites will report fake news or things that aren’t completely true. They might do it because they want to scare you or make you do something. Or because they make money from people going to their site.

Fake news can look real, but there are ways to help you spot it.

Check the source

Check the name of the website and its web address to see if it looks real. Some sites will try to look like other websites so you think they’re genuine.

Look for evidence

Find out whether it’s being reported on other sites that you know and trust. If it’s only being reported on websites you’ve never heard of then it might not be true.

Don’t decide straight away

Sometimes headlines or stories are designed to scare or interest you. Read what’s in the article carefully, ask yourself whether it seems true and why they’re saying it.

Ask someone you trust

Try asking an adult you trust to see what they think. If you’re worried about something you’ve seen online, you can always talk to a Childline counsellor.

Online grooming

Online grooming is when someone uses the internet to trick, force or pressure a young person into doing something sexual – like sending a naked video or image of themselves. This is wrong.

Someone who’s grooming others online will sometimes build their trust before talking about doing anything sexual. It’s not easy to know if someone’s trying to groom you, but no matter what’s happening, we can help.

What is Online Grooming?

Anyone can groom another person. A ‘groomer’ is someone who makes an emotional connection with someone to try and make you do things like:

  • have sexual conversations online or by text messages
  • send naked images of yourself, which is sometimes called sexting
  • send sexual videos of yourself
  • do something sexual live on webcam
  • meet up with them in person.

They might be old, or young. And they can be male or female.

Most of us talk to people online – it’s a great way to stay connected. It can even be a good way of making new friends sometimes. But it’s really important to understand the dangers of talking to someone you don’t know.

If you send someone sexual photos or videos of yourself, you lose control over what happens to them. The other person may end up sharing them with other people who might then keep sharing them.

Someone could even use images you’ve sent to blackmail you. For example, they may say that they’ll post them online if you don’t keep sending more images. But we can help.

If you’re under 18 and someone posts an explicit or nude image online you can make a report to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). They can contact the website to try and remove it without getting anyone involved.

Nobody should blackmail or pressure you into doing something sexual online. If someone is doing this you’re not alone. You can make a report to CEOP or talk to our KC Safeguarding Team

Signs of Online Grooming

Every situation is different. And online groomers are really good at lying about who they are. Which means it can be difficult to know if someone is an online friend, or if they’re trying to get you to send them sexual images or videos.

If a groomer is trying to get you to share sexual images or do something sexual, often they’ll:

  • Send you lots of messages
    This could be really often and they might message you in lots of different ways, for example through Facebook, text messaging and chat rooms
  • Ask you to keep your conversations secret
    They might ask you not to tell anyone that you’re talking to them and say that it’s your ‘special secret.’ They might also ask you if you trust them or make you feel like you can’t trust your friends or family
  • Try to find out more
    Ask you who else uses your computer or which room your computer is in, to find out if they could get caught by your parents or carers
  • Start sending you sexual messages
    This might be really subtle at first. They could start to say nice things about your appearance or your body or ask things like “have you ever been kissed?”
  • Get you to share personal information
    They might want you to tell them secrets about yourself or share personal details about where you live or go to school. Or they might ask you to keep in contact all the time, and share information about where you are.
  • Try to blackmail you
    They might try to persuade you to send sexual images of yourself by saying they’ll be hurt or upset if you don’t. If you’ve sent images of yourself already, they could threaten to post your images online or show them to people you know if you don’t send them more.

It can be difficult to understand when grooming is happening, the signs aren’t always clear to spot. If you want to speak to someone you can trust about grooming, you can speak to one of our KC Safeguarding Team. We’re here to listen and give you the support you need. And remember – you haven’t done anything wrong.

How to tell if someone is a groomer

It’s important to remember that there isn’t one ‘type’ of groomer. Many different kinds of people have used the internet to trick, force or persuade young people into sharing sexual images of themselves. Often it’s an adult pretending to be a young person – but not always.

Grooming online
When people are online, they can hide who they really are. They might send you a photo or video they say is of themselves when it isn’t actually them. So it’s important to be really careful and not trust people online if you can’t be sure who they are.

Sometimes the person might pretend to be like you and have the same interests or problems as you. They could just be doing this to get you to trust them, so later on they can get you to do what they want.

Grooming doesn’t only happen online
It can happen with people you’ve already met in person, for example through your family or at a club you go to.

If someone is an abuser, they might be nice to you, give you their attention and buy you presents. They could do this to try and make you like them. Once you start to trust them more, they might try to start to turn your relationship into something more sexual. They might try to give you gifts or even threaten you with violence so that you don’t tell anyone.

People like this can be very convincing and will try really hard to get you to do what they want. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s a good idea to tell someone you trust.

If anyone is making you feel uncomfortable because they’re saying or doing sexual things to you, you should tell someone what is happening.

What to do if you think you're being groomed

If you think you’re being groomed don’t worry about getting in trouble – you haven’t done anything wrong. There are people for you talk to and there are ways that you can report your concern.

Ask the person to stop
As a first step, you might want to deal with the situation yourself. For example, you could ask the person to stop – tell them you don’t feel comfortable sending sexual images of yourself.

Tell an adult you trust
If the groomer keeps talking to you, it may be best to tell an adult you trust or report them. Telling someone can seem really scary and you might feel like you’ll get in trouble. It could also feel embarrassing. But telling someone can really help you start to get out of a bad or uncomfortable situation.

Report it
You can report an adult or stranger if they’ve sent you a sexual message, asked you to send them a sexual message, sent anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or asked you to meet up with them.

Getting more support

If you’re worried, please make sure you talk to someone; whether it’s a parent, friend or one of KC’s Safeguarding Team

How to pick yourself up when things get tough! – Men’s Mental Health Month

Men's Mental Health Month

November is Men’s Mental Health Month. It’s important to get talking and here’s why:

  • In England, one in eight men have a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, or OCD. 
  • Men are three times more likely to die from suicide compared to women.
  • Men aged 40 – 49 have the highest suicide rate.
  • Men are less likely than women to access psychological therapies, only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men.
  • 87% of rough sleepers are men.
  • 9.7% of men aged 16-24 report having self-harmed at some point in their life.

How to pick yourself up when things get tough...

We all get low sometimes, for Men’s Mental health month ‘The Mental Health Foundation‘ has put together a list on How to pick yourself up when things get tough”.

Get Outside

Get outside for a short walk or add exercise to your daily routine. Exercise is a great way to help with mental health.

Get Motivated!

Make a motivational playlist or read a motivational or inspirational quote – to get perspective.

Reach out!

Chat to a mate when you start to hide yourself away. Make sure you’re being listened to – have a chat and get it off your chest.  Have a chat with someone who will listen and not ‘fix’ – a mate, colleague, family or a helpline.

Use social media

Follow social media accounts that you can relate to and connect with people who have similar interests.

Have structure

Keep up with your routine – or add a new structure to your day. Do something new like volunteering or take up a new hobby.

Get out of your comfort zone

Get out of your comfort zone – feel a sense of achievement from this

Check on your friends

Ask a mate how they are – doing something for a mate can make you feel better.

Take time

Stop and pause – take time to check in with your head by using mindfulness, writing or meditation. Focus on breathing – breathe in and out slowly for 3 minutes. Switch off – in a way that works for you, with a book, film, video game etc.

Learning How To Handle Stress

Firstly, let’s kick off with the fact that stress is horrible, and unfortunately, we all know what it’s like to feel stressed. However but it’s not easy to pin down exactly what stress exactly means… it comes in all different shapes and forms, sometimes it’s easy to deal with, other times it impacts our mental health.

It’s important to know that EVERYONE feels stress, so you’re not alone and thankfully, there are a ton of resources out there to help identify and deal with it.

“Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. It’s very common, it can be motivating to help us achieve things in our daily life, and can help us meet the demands of home, college, work and family life.”

– NHS Every Mind Matters

What is stress?

Let’s try to understand what stress is a bit more:

Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure.

When we say things like “this is stressful” or “I’m stressed”, we might be talking about:

  • Situations or events that put pressure on us – for example, times where we have lots to do and think about, or don’t have much control over what happens.
  • Our reaction to being placed under pressure – the feelings we get when we have demands placed on us that we find difficult to cope with

Too much stress can affect our mood, our body and our relationships – especially when it feels out of our control. It can make us feel anxious and irritable, and affect our self-esteem.

Experiencing a lot of stress over a long period of time can also lead to a feeling of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, often called burnout.

How can stress affect me?

You might find that your first clues about being stressed are physical signs, such as tiredness, headaches or an upset stomach.

There could be many reasons for this, as when we feel stressed we often find it hard to sleep or eat well, and poor diet and lack of sleep can both affect our physical health. This in turn can make us feel more stressed emotionally.

Also, when we feel anxious, our bodies release hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. (This is the body’s automatic way of preparing to respond to a threat, sometimes called the fight, flight or freeze’ response). If you’re often stressed then you’re probably producing high levels of these hormones, which can make you feel physically unwell and could affect your health in the longer term.

Signs of stress

It’s really important to understand the signs of stress, the sooner you spot them, the sooner you can put something in place to help manage it.


  • irritable, aggressive, impatient or wound up
  • over-burdened
  • anxious, nervous or afraid
  • like your thoughts are racing and you can’t switch off
  • unable to enjoy yourself
  • depressed
  • uninterested in life
  • like you’ve lost your sense of humour
  • a sense of dread
  • worried about your health
  • neglected or lonely.


    • finding it hard to make decisions
    • constantly worrying
    • avoiding situations that are troubling you
    • snapping at people
    • biting your nails
    • picking at your skin
    • unable to concentrate
    • eating too much or too little
    • smoking or drinking alcohol more than usual
    • restless, like you can’t sit still
    • being tearful or crying.


    • shallow breathing or hyperventilating
    • you might have a panic attack
    • muscle tension
    • blurred eyesight or sore eyes
    • problems getting to sleep, staying asleep or having nightmares
    • tired all the time
    • grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw
    • headaches
    • chest pains
    • indigestion or heartburn
    • constipation or diarrhoea
    • feeling sick, dizzy or fainting.

Why do certain things make me feel stressed?

The amount of stress you feel in different situations may depend on many factors such as:

  • your perception of the situation – this might be connected to your past experiences, your self-esteem, and how your thought processes work (for example, if you tend to interpret things positively or negatively)
  • how experienced you are at dealing with that particular type of pressure
  • your emotional resilience to stressful situations
  • the amount of other pressures on you at the time
  • the amount of support you are receiving.

What causes stress?

Feelings of stress are normally triggered by things happening in your life which involve:

  • being under lots of pressure
  • facing big changes
  • worrying about something
  • not having much or any control over the outcome of a situation
  • having responsibilities that you’re finding overwhelming
  • not having enough work, activities or change in your life
  • times of uncertainty.

There might be one big thing causing you stress, but stress can also be caused by a build-up of small pressures. This might make it harder for you to identify what’s making you feel stressed, or to explain it to other people.

How to deal with pressure and stress

There are various steps you can take to cope with being under pressure. This section gives some tips that people have told us they find useful, but it’s important to remember that different things work for different people. Only try what you feel comfortable with.

We really do recommend having a chat with someone you trust though, making other people aware of how you’re feeling is very important and talking really does help!

Working out what triggers stress for you can help you anticipate problems and think of ways to solve them. Even if you can’t avoid these situations, being prepared can help.

Take some time to reflect on events and feelings that could be contributing to your stress (you could do this on your own or with someone you trust). You could consider:

  • Issues that come up regularly, and that you worry about, for example paying a bill or attending an appointment.
  • One-off events that are on your mind a lot, such as moving house or taking an exam.
  • Ongoing stressful events, like being a carer or having problems at work.

You might be surprised to find out just how much you’re coping with at once. Remember that not having enough work, activities or change in your life can be just as stressful a situation as having too much to deal with.

Making some adjustments to the way you organise your time could help you feel more in control of any tasks you’re facing, and more able to handle pressure.

  • Identify your best time of day, and do the important tasks that need the most energy and concentration at that time. For example, you might be a morning person or an evening person.
  • Make a list of things you have to do. Arrange them in order of importance, and try to focus on the most urgent first. Some people find creating a timetable useful so they can plan when they can spend time on each task. If your tasks are work related, ask a manager or colleague to help you prioritise. You may be able to push back some tasks until you’re feeling less stressed.
  • Set smaller and more achievable targets. When you’re under a lot of pressure it’s easy to set yourself large targets that are often unachievable. This can make you feel more stressed and if you don’t reach them, it can make you feel disappointed and frustrated. Setting smaller more achievable goals can make you feel in more control and you can see your achievements more easily.
  • Vary your activities. Balance interesting tasks with more mundane ones, and stressful tasks with those you find easier or can do more calmly.
  • Try not to do too much at once. If you take on too much, you might find it harder to do any individual task well. This can make you feel like you have even more pressure on you.
  • Take breaks and take things slowly. It might be difficult to do this when you’re stressed, but it can make you more productive.
  • Ask someone if they can help. For example, you could ask a friend or family member to help with some of your daily tasks so that you have more time to spend completing your tasks that are causing you to feel stressed.

It’s not easy, but accepting that there are some things happening to you that you probably can’t do anything about will help you focus your time and energy more productively.

Whether it’s a friend, parent, guardian, tutor or one of the KC Safeguarding Team, if you’re feeling stressed, talk to someone about it.

Developing Resilience

Taking steps to look after your wellbeing can help you deal with pressure, and reduce the impact that stress has on your life. This is sometimes called developing emotional resilience.

Resilience is not just your ability to bounce back, but also your capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing. Resilience isn’t a personality trait – it’s something that we can all take steps to achieve.

There are some general changes that you can make to your lifestyle that could help you feel more able to cope with pressure and stressful situations.

  • Practise being straightforward and assertive in communicating with others. If people are making unreasonable or unrealistic demands on you, be prepared to tell them how you feel and say no. The organisation Mind Tools provides tips on assertiveness on their website.
  • Use relaxation techniques. You may already know what helps you relax, like having a bath, listening to music or taking your dog for a walk. If you know that a certain activity helps you feel more relaxed, make sure you set aside time to do it. See our pages on relaxation for lots more ideas.
  • Develop your interests and hobbies. Finding an activity that’s completely different from the things causing you stress is a great way to get away from everyday pressures. If stress is making you feel lonely or isolated, shared hobbies can also be a good way to meet new people.
  • Make time for your friends. When you’ve got a lot on this might seem hard, but it can help you feel more positive and less isolated. Chatting to friends about the things you find difficult can help you keep things in perspective – and you can do the same for them. Laughing and smiling with them will also produce hormones that help you to relax.
  • Find balance in your life. You may find that one part of your life, such as your job or taking care of young children, is taking up almost all of your time and energy. Try making a decision to focus some of your energy on other parts of your life, like family, friends or hobbies. It’s not easy, but this can help spread the weight of pressures in your life, and make everything feel lighter.

Taking steps to look after your physical health can help you to look after your mental health and reduce feelings of stress.

  • Get enough sleep. Stress can often make it difficult to sleep, and can cause sleep problems. Getting enough sleep can help you feel more able to deal with difficult situations.
  • Be active. Being physically active is important for both our physical and mental health. Even making small changes such as going for a regular walk outside may help you to feel less stressed.
  • Eat healthily. When you’re stressed, it can be tempting to skip meals or eat too much of the wrong kinds of food. But what you eat, and when you eat, can make a big difference to how well you feel. (See our pages on food and mood for more tips.)

Learning to be kinder to yourself in general can help you control the amount of pressure you feel in different situations, which can help you feel less stressed.

  • Reward yourself for achievements – even small things like finishing a piece of work or making a decision. You could take a walk, read a book, treat yourself to food you enjoy, or simply tell yourself “well done”.
  • Get a change of scenery. You might want to go outside, go to a friend’s house or go to a café for a break – even if it’s just for a short time.
  • Take a break or holiday. Time away from your normal routine can help you relax and feel refreshed. Even spending a day in a different place can help you feel more able to face stress.
  • Resolve conflicts, if you can. Although this can sometimes be hard, speaking to a manager, colleague or family member about problems in your relationship with them can help you find ways to move forward.
  • Forgive yourself when you feel you have made a mistake, or don’t achieve something you hoped for. Try to remember that nobody’s perfect, and putting extra pressure on yourself doesn’t help.

Remember that whatever you’re going through that’s causing you stress, you don’t have to cope with it alone.

Friends and family

Sometimes just telling the people close to you how you’re feeling can make a big difference – and they might be able to help you out in other ways too.

Support at college

Reach out to your tutors, KC Student Services or our KC Safeguarding Team; you can email them on

Peer support

Sometimes sharing your experiences with people who’ve been through something similar can help you feel less alone. Mind’s community Side by Side, and the online community Togetherall, offer supportive spaces where you can talk openly about stress and your mental health.

More resources

Here are list of additional resources you can take a look at if you’re feeling stressed:

What to do if your drink has been spiked

What to do if...

You think your drink has been spiked

We’re introducing our new series ‘Play it Safe’ which highlights hints, tips, and useful information to keep our College staff and students safe.

We should all have the privilege of feeling safe in our surroundings, but this isn’t always the case. Although it shouldn’t be on the individual to take precautions to keep themselves safe, we think it’s important to minimise any risk and we, therefore, encourage people at KC to try and keep themselves as safe as possible.

Each week we will look into a different topic on what to do if…

Each person can feel different effects when getting their drink spiked. The common symptoms include; loss of memory, vomiting and confusion.

If you think you have been spiked it’s important to tell someone and to report the incident to a trusted adult or the police.

If you suspect that your friend has had their drink spiked. It’s important that you stay with them and if their symptoms worsen call the ambulance.

People who have been sexually assaulted while intoxicated may find it difficult to contact police or ask for professional help because they feel guilt or shame, or are afraid they will not be believed.

Get support even if you can’t remember exactly what happened. Some drugs used in drink spiking can cause short-term memory loss.

Drug-assisted sexual assault, like all sexual assault, is a crime. Police, health workers and sexual assault services are there to hear your story and help you.

There are a few things you can do if you suspect you or someone else has had their drink spike.

Play it Safe

'Play It Safe'

We’re introducing our new series ‘Play it Safe’ which highlights hints, tips, and useful information to keep our College staff and students safe.

We should all have the privilege of feeling safe in our surroundings, but this isn’t always the case. Although it shouldn’t be on the individual to take precautions to keep themselves safe, we think it’s important to minimise any risk and we, therefore, encourage people at KC to try and keep themselves as safe as possible.

Each week we will look into a different topic on what to do if…

Buddy Up

When walking home in the dark opt for a buddy system and ask a friend or peer to walk with you. Find someone who lives close to your home and do the commute together.

Plan your route

Make sure you plan your route home in advance. If you are walking in an unfamiliar area, this can help keep you from getting lost. If you do get lost, don’t wander aimlessly – find a shop or restaurant and ask for directions. Make sure your journey home is well lit and that someone knows that you are walking home and what time to expect you. 

Call someone

It can be useful to speak to someone on the phone during your walk home. This will give you the confidence to walk home safely, you can also let the person on the other end of the phone know exactly where you are during your journey. 

Trust your gut

Always trust your gut! If you feel an area or situation may be dangerous, don’t wait around to find out. Stop and scan your surroundings if you think someone is following you. If you are being followed, walk as quickly as you can to a well-lit public place. Wait until you feel safe, call a friend, taxi or ask for help in the nearest pub, shop, or restaurant. 

We're always here

We’re always here to listen at KC and can put a plan in place or offer any advice about staying safe. Don’t be afraid to contact the team!