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Learning to Cope with Stress at IMU Mental Health Week

15 Nov 2013

21 – 26 October 2013 – The International Medical University (IMU) Counselling Unit together with Campus Friend (a peer support club) organised the Mental Health Week with the theme, “Step Out of Stress” in order to raise the awareness of stress issues among the IMU community and to provide education on healthy stress management. This Mental Health Week also aims to provide resources for students so that they will be able to seek help when necessary. An exhibition about stress management was held at the Atrium throughout the Mental Health Week. Information on the causes of stress, types of stress, healthy coping strategies, and resources etc. were provided at this exhibition.

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Talks and workshops were organised to provide students with the opportunities to learn some skills and techniques to deal with stresses in their life. Students who attended in the talks and workshops were from different programmes such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Dietetics with Nutrition, Biomedical Science, Psychology and other programmes. Ms. Zuhrah Beevi, a lecturer from the Division of Psychology conducted a workshop on “Hypnosis and Relaxation” on 22 October. She talked about the common misunderstandings of hypnosis such as mind control and brainwashing, which are shown on the media or TV shows. She explained that those are not true about hypnosis. In fact, hypnosis has many benefits such as pain control, relaxation, stress relief etc. Ms. Zuhrah then ran a session using hypnosis to help students relax. Students who attended the workshop felt that the session was powerful as they were able to get to their deep/unconscious mind during hypnotic state and was able to rest.


9On the same day, Ms Aveline Teh, a counselling intern gave a talk on relationships titled “How to find my Mr/Mrs Right? Is he/she the one or should I run?”. She explained the differences between genders when it comes to relationships and the importance of understanding each other. Ms Aveline also talked about the unhealthy relationships and provided tips on developing healthy relationships. She highlighted the five love languages and gave students the test to find out about their love languages. Students enjoyed the talk and learned some tips to improve their relationships.

Ms. Low Xin Yuan, a student counsellor, conducted a workshop on “Stress Relaxation Techniques” to the Semester Three MPharm students on 23 October. She taught the students breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualisation so that they could use them to relax and cope with their stress. Students found the techniques useful for relieving stress. They also found out that the use of music and aroma scent while performing the relaxation techniques in the session were calming and soothing. A full-day workshop on “Creating Your Future” with invited speaker, Mr. Daryl Wong, the CEO of Connecting Dots, was organised on 26 October. Mr. Daryl is a dynamic speaker who engaged well with the students. In his workshop, he focused on helping the students to understand the power of having a goal and to discover what they truly desire to create their own future. He also taught the students to overcome their fear of failure and to use their fear in a positive manner. Feedback from students indicated that they are motivated after the workshop to think creatively and positively to achieve their goals in life.


Besides the workshops and talks, there were also self-discovery sessions through expressive arts conducted from 22 – 24 October. The objectives were to promote the Counselling Unit and the various methods used in counselling and self-development. Sand tray and cards were used to facilitate a self-exploration process with students and to assist students to acquire a deeper understanding about themselves. Both sessions were conducted by the student counsellors, Ms Lynda Ling Ms Carina Lai and Ms Low Xin Yuan.

The Mental Health Week Committee, who are mainly the Campus Friend members, had come out with various student activities and games during the Mental Health Week. A photography competition with the theme, “Happiness” ran from 21 September to 24 October. A total of 22 entries were submitted for the competition. DSLR Category: 1st Place – Wong Ee Choong


  2nd Place – Shaun Kuan Mun Leong


    Non-DSLR Category: Tan Ke Ying (Equal Placing) 13   Issac Tay Shao An (Equal Placing) 14   Besides these talks and workshops, other activities such as distribution of random positive quotes during lunch hour on 21 October (to pass on positive messages to students), a smiley search competition on 23 October at the Atrium (collecting as many smileys pasted around the campus), and painting of the balloon art/water splashing game on 24 October were conducted as stress buster activities. Students who participated in these activities reported that they had fun and it provided them opportunities to do some activities other than studying.   Random Positive Quotes Distribution 15   Smiley Search Competition 16  

  Paint Balloon Art/Water Splashing Game   171819      

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