A BESTSELLING author from Smithills who wrote about her battle against anxiety has been providing mental health tips to students .

Claire Eastham, author of We're All Mad Here, went back to her alma mater to support University of Salford's wellbeing week, a series of events promoting good mental health and raising awareness of the support available to students.

The award winning blogger, who graduated from the university with a degree in English Literature and History in 2007, has written in national newspapers and appeared on TV shows to talk about her battle with Social Anxiety Disorder, which she said would cause her to panic during social situations.

As well as talking about her own experiences, she gave advice about issues affecting students which can lead to mental health problems if not dealt with properly.

Claire, who now lives in London, said: "While going away to university is exciting, it can also be stressful and there can be emotional issues such as loneliness, low mood, social anxiety, homesickness and workload pressure. Mental health is just as important as physical health — I really wish someone would have told me this when I was at university.

"It’s really important that students have access to as much support and advice as possible, and I think it’s wonderful that the University of Salford is providing events like this."

Claire’s tips on mental health wellbeing on campus include talking about issues, diet and exercise.

Students were also introduced to yoga and pilates and met professional counsellors from the wellbeing service.

Mental health is a national problem among students, with a 2015 NUS survey revealing that 78 per cent of students across the UK had experienced issues during the previous year, and the university has launched the not-for-profit ProtectEd accreditation scheme to assess how well universities look after their students’ safety, security and well-being.

Professor Neil Fowler, Dean of Students at the University of Salford, said: "For some students being at university can be tough and at times lonely experience, and my main messages are — that its ok to find things hard and to need support and therefore that you don’t suffer in silence.

"It’s really important all our students know about the wellbeing services we provide, and that we are there for them when they need us and they should come and talk to us."