The Counselling Centre holds mental health awareness week

By Zina Nguru

Mental health is a basic human and universal right as well as a complex global concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines it as a state of well-being that enables an individual to cope with life’s challenges. Think about it this way, the life jacket, oxygen mask, that you can be able to reach out to in case of an emergency, because one thing that is assured, challenges are most certainly guaranteed as part of the human experience.

While mental health concerns are important and should be addressed all year round, mental health awareness month marked in the month of May, provides a dedicated time for people, organizations and communities to join their voices to broadcast the message that mental health matters!!

The Counseling Center’s Mental Health Awareness week, was the first of its kind and took place from May 27-30. The event was organized by a student’s planning committee whose members largely consisted of students from the Peer Educators and Counseling Club (PECC) and the Mr. and Miss USIU-Africa team. The four-day activity, drew considerable interest with slightly over 180 students visiting the tent and participating in the various activities.

Some of the key highlights included:

  • A hula hoop challenge (how long can you move?). In line with this year’s theme that was movement, participants who visited the tent, had an opportunity to test their concentration, rhythm and movement skills by hula-hooping. Several students made considerable attempts however, Laureen Mubachia an ICT student, stood out above the rest and held the record for the longest hula hoop time at one hour!! Truly remarkable.
  • The Emoji wall challenge (How are you feeling?). Participants who visited the tent had the opportunity to post how they were feeling in real time at the emoji wall. The importance of this activity was to identify and name one’s emotional experience, which paves way for clarity and processing of concerns.
  • The guided meditation took place at the martial arts room and was led by gym instructor Claudia. Those in attendance were guided on techniques of deep breathing, body scanning and mindfulness.
  • Balloon Pop Challenge. Inspirational messages were contained inside balloons that participants had to blow and pop in order to get their unique message. A dose of hope goes a long way in uplifting one’s mood amidst life’s challenges.
  • Campus Walk (Mental Health Outreach). To culminate the week-long activities, the counseling center staff together with some student volunteers embarked on a 40-minute mental health outreach activity within campus. During the walk, mental health messages were shared with the students and staff members. The reception was quite good with one of the staff members saying, “This is a good effort; we all need to care for our mental health.”

Other activities that took place included musical chairs, board games, art and paint therapy, self-assessment forms and one on one consultations with the counsellors.

It is our hope that we shall intentionally make the effort to nurture our mental health. The Counseling Center staff are ready to support you in your journey. Book a session today and experience the freedom to talk!

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