Know that you’re not alone in campus during this period of isolation

By Nur Sa’adah Batrisyia

GOMBAK, 16 April 2020: “As a social creature, this social distancing has been stressful since humans rely mostly on face-to-face interaction instead of virtual interaction,” Sofia Tjatrandiningrat, a Political Science student and moderator for “Webinar: Managing Stress and Anxiety during Movement Control Order (MCO)” said.

From the perspective of mental health fighters, the sudden restriction movement order and the requirement on social distancing that come about out of the blues, have given them major stress due to isolation from human interaction. Going through such experience, IIUM students do face emotional conflict such as loneliness.  

Thereby, IIUMtv, IIUMToday, IIUMfm and Counselling and Career Service (CCSC) realise that this reality exists and feel the strong urge to take an action to help those in need through emotional guidance. 

Along with Sofia and Dr. Khairiah, they explore the emotions and feelings of IIUM students who are specifically suffering from stress and anxiety.

During the live session, Mrs. Khairiah keeps emphasising the necessity to seek professional help or perhaps talk to someone for those who are still pondering in identifying the emotions they are faced with.

“However, for psychological officers to assist mental health fighters, it is highly encouraging for them to analyse the root of their emotion. Either the root of the emotional struggle came from family, friends or perhaps the voice inside your head,” she further claims that the process to neutralise the emotions will help prevent psychological disturbance from worrying the mind.

Next, she stresses that adaptation to the surrounding can help to neutralise the emotional baggage; meditation for example.

Aside from adaptation to the lack of human interaction, technological devices may help mental health fighters from isolating themselves in dark thoughts. A variety of selection from a video call, chatting and phone calls are among the escapism or distraction to assist students’ gloomy emotions.

To prevent students from being drowned with emotions, she suggests to pause for a moment, take a deep breath and relax, highlighting that it is essential to block emotional flow from conquering the minds. Take it in the Islamic way, the prophet even lists down the suggestion to change posture to control anger; either from standing to sitting down and from sitting down to lying down.

Further ahead, the initiative to find alternative and a variety of ways to cope with harmful thoughts is among the point stated by Mrs. Khairiah, a clinical psychologist. For instance, channeling emotion through video call or ‘feel’ the existence of the feeling. The possibility to get a positive impact is higher if there is a willingness to change to be a better person.

“Frequently, certain people do not even try the solution suggested as if running away from emotional needs is the best ‘so-called’ method”. Ignoring the problem would prolong the cycle of your emotions.

One of the students commented under the live YouTube session regarding the confidential matter of patient’s information if they insist to seek professional help. “You can take legal action if we break the trust given or in other words, breaking the principles of confidentiality,” she replied since the arising issue of trustworthiness is a common concern among mental health client-to-be.  

On the perspective of international students, the dilemma of whether to return to their home country is the best solution or not, the clinical psychologist states that there should be a balance between physical and mental matters. The priority should be avoid spreading COVID-19 virus to a large number of people; burdening medical officers to serve a massive number of patients in a short period.

To help IIUM students with their mental and psychological problems, the Counselling and Career is providing virtual counselling service on Instagram via Skype. For more information, the Instagram account can be found by typing ‘ccsciium’ on the search engine.

To watch the full video, you can click this link: https://youtu.be/X1mD39T2P2E

Counselling schedule for IIUM students via Skype chatting.

Above is the schedule for those interested to reach out for professional help. Two counsellors per day will be available with the maximum period of one hour only. Do take note counsellors will use Skype chatting as they are not allowed to have client personal contact numbers. ***

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