UFH student counselling unit offers online counselling sessions during lockdown

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In a bid to promote student mental health wellness during the lockdown period, the UFH Student Counselling Unit (SCU) has moved its services to an online platform.  By visiting the SCU Facebook page, students are able to engage with qualified Psychologists in a safe and confidential space.

The Facebook page : Student Counselling Unit- Fort Hare University is managed by a psychologist on a daily basis. The platform allows psychologists from the unit to participate in live chats and offer one-on-one assistance via private online sessions. Psychological advice on how to manage lockdown related stress and anxiety is also shared on the page.

SCU Acting HOD, Ms Thobeka Msengana says the online platform aims to ensure the service reaches students remotely during this time where self-isolation is strongly recommended to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Msengana, who is a qualified Psychologist says being on lockdown is especially difficult for students who already struggle with mental illness.

“The lockdown period can add more stress and cause a lot of anxiety for others. It can worsen depression and cause people to feel hopeless and helpless. It is very important for someone who struggles with any form of mental illness to have a strong support system.  With social distancing,  it’s easy for people to feel isolated and lonely,” explained Msengana. 

She urged students to stay connected with their peers, share study approaches in order to feel connected with like-minded people. This, she says,  can be done through online study sessions with a friend or a group.

Msengana also shared the following tips:

  • Try to have a routine while at home
  • Plan your study sessions and breaks well ahead.  This will reduce anxiety and make one feel goal-directed
  • Self-care is an important aspect
  • Do not skip meals
  • Drink water
  • Listening to good music and engaging in dance once in a while can have a positive impact on your mental well-being
  • Do not spend too much time on social media, especially at night, as this may lead to sleep problems and fatigue.