Counseling Services in awareness drive

By Lydia Winda and Ernest A. Mwanzi

The Department of Counseling Services hosted their annual Open Access Week from February 11 to 12 on campus, to provide the University community with an opportunity to interact directly with departmental staff in an outdoor setting and to demystify some of the general assumptions about counseling services, especially those associated with a certain stigma.

This year the department was able to engage more than 300 students, staff and faculty, with exciting activities that included art therapy whose purpose is to help participants express themselves and enhance their creativity through art work for instance painting, drawing, coloring and making artistic story lines.

Couples were guided through relationship tests to enhance their awareness of each other, including assess their needs and personalities. Other games such as jig-saw puzzles, scrabble, Rubik’s cubes, memory tests, hoola hoops and punching bags, focused on learning, teamwork and just plain fun.

Students and staff were also taken through personal development exercises such us the Wheel of Life and SWOT analysis to bring out the whole-life balance and awareness of personal strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats, together with personality and life skills tests mainly for self-awareness, clarity on one’s identity and life skills areas such as time and money management, assertiveness and self-esteem.

The department also conducted mental health checks, and perception tests to help enhance and appreciate the different worldviews and perspectives that participants may hold.

Among the services offered was a voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) desk that informed clients on reproductive health matters and HIV & AIDS, through demonstrations and distribution of communication materials on HIV and AIDS, different types of cancers. The “No Glove No Love” campaign held on Valentine’s Day in partnership with Trust for Indigenous Culture & Health (TICAH), focused on conversations about sex and condom use. Conversations on safer sex were initiated through classroom, cafeteria and pathway visits in addition to distribution of condoms, candies and more than 100 roses.

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