Mental health a big issue in higher education, but awareness is a challenge
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Mental health a big issue in higher education, but awareness is a challenge

By Tumelo Metsing  30 Oct 2020

Mental Health Campaign held at VUT

Every year, during October 10, the world marks World Mental Health Day through mental health awareness campaigns and activities observed throughout the world. South Africa joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Mental Health Day through a collaborative effort of various role players and stakeholders such as government departments, mental health partners, NGOs, mental health professionals, institutions of higher learning and many other stakeholders.

Student Counselling and Support Department at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) also observed the Mental Health Month by participating in the awareness campaign which was held in collaboration with external and internal stakeholders of the University. The objective of the campaign was to bring amongst others, awareness to students about mental health related problems and their contribution towards their poor academic performances. “Although some students would cite other life stressors as the cause of their distress, most of them present with mental health symptoms that they tend to be oblivious about until they suffer a breakdown,” said Mr Kabi Metsing, VUT Social Worker.

In addition to the annual awareness campaign, VUT has taken responsibility through its First Year Experience program, a collaboration between the department Student Counselling and Support Services and the Centre for Academic Development, to raise awareness on mental health services and other support services available on campus to First Year Students during orientation week at the beginning of the year.

Mr Metsing also elaborated that in order to address the challenges of mental health awareness within the higher education sector, there is a need to accelerate, integrate and modernise the awareness campaigns.

For more information, contact the Student Counselling and Support Department on 016 950 9072

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