Nowadays, many college students suffer from mental disorders. In the last three years, the number of students turning to the NNU Psychological Consultation Center for support has risen steadily year by year. At present, the center offers free counseling services to over 90 students each week.
“Receiving students’ for counseling is our daily job. We have three consultation rooms, a psychological sandbox room and a team-activity room.” Jiaying Wang, a State-Certificated Class 2 Psychological Counselor of the center, introduced. “The walls of the rooms are painted with soft colors, like blue, pink and green, as it makes the students more comfortable.”
(Photo by Yue Huang)
From the beginning of this September, the students coming for a consult have doubled compared with last year. “Now the students can only make a reservation for next semester. In addition, we must provide an after-consultation service for those who have finished a course of therapy. Therefore, each student can reserve a timeslot six times a semester,” she added.
When asked about what kind of problems the students are faced with, she answered, “Family, relationship and pressure from their studies are the main elements that result in a mental disorder, especially family problems. In most cases, the conflicts among family members sprouted during the middle school or high school years, when students were so busy with study that they might not have been aware of the issue. However, in college, with the change of living environment and daily routine, so many problems that have been ignored for a long time burst out.”
(Photo by Yue Huang)
“We will assess students’ psychological state and help them recognize their mental situation. For those who have been diagnosed with a severe mental disorder, we will recommend to them that they take a year off from school to make self-adjustments,” said Wang.
“For the protection of students’ privacy, our counselors will avoid giving therapy to their acquaintances. For instance, those acquaintances who decide to take the counselors’ course of treatment, including those of our student assistants, we will arrange other counselors for them to talk to,” she explained of a fundamental working principle.
How can students get along properly with those who have mental problems? Jiaying Wang suggested, “Firstly, make sure that we are in a healthy and steady mood ourselves. Secondly, try to understand some of their behaviors because they cannot control their emotions. Moreover, don’t judge them or comment on them from a personal perspective. These three points are very essential.”
For the students who are in bad mental situation, she gave the following advices. For one thing, complete the SDS (Self-rating depression scale) test, which can be found on the Internet, to see what level of depression they may have or not. For another, try to do something that cheers them up, such as playing sports and chatting with intimate friends.
The mental health of students is always of great importance. NNU Psychological Consultation Center assesses the psychological state of freshmen every year by distributing and collecting questionnaires, and it tries to estimate that of the students as seniors in the future, if possible.