Student wellness and mental health take the spotlight at Youth Summit

By: Charmaine Blose

Port Elizabeth – Not even the rain could stop the South African Public Administration Student Association (SAPASA) youth summit held at 2nd Avenue Campus at Nelson Mandela University.

Although the day was raining so badly, nothing stopped the students from Nelson Mandela University from attending the Youth Summit hosted by SAPASA which focused on student challenges, academic issues and student wellness in institutions of higher learning. Students were advised to talk to their Faculty lecturers and HOD’s if they ever experienced difficulty with their academics. Moreover, when students leave home to attend university they may find themselves alone and not performing well academically. Another important point raised was how students should go to student counselling if they experience any kind of personal issues.

“Feelings are what you feel on a daily basis, they affect what you do and who you are”, these were the words said by Qaphela Ngcobo, a final year master’s degree student who was part of the panelists at the summit. The greater parts of her studies focused on pathology and industrial psychology, but has now moved on to clinical psychology. Ngcobo talked about mental health issues among students in institutions of higher learning and also expressed how many people don’t know or have information on mental health. “When you talk mental health, most people immediately think of someone walking around naked, that is the severity of mental health. What people need to understand about the term ‘mental health’ is that the true meaning is all about layers: social, spiritual, emotional and mental and the effects it has on our mood and thinking”, she said.

Qaphela advised students to take things one day at a time, she also mentioned that students should not put their problems away or ignore them, but should deal with them so they don’t catch up with them later. She concluded by saying that students must practice time management so they don’t feel overwhelmed with the work required from students by lecturers.

If you need help or know any other student that may be facing any problems or challenges at university, please contact the Student Career and Development Centre South Campus on: 041 504  2511.

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