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Studying Psychology at IMU : More than Books and Theories

19 Feb 2019

Psychology students in International Medical University (IMU) had an eventful year in 2018 whereby many interesting events took place not just within the campus, but also outside of the campus. Our psychology students comprised of enthusiastic youths who are always eager to apply their learnt knowledge and skills to further benefit our community as well as educating public on the importance of the psychology field in shaping our community.

Suicide Prevention Talk : “Every Life Matters”
In conjunction with the World Suicide Prevention Day 2018, a lecturer (clinical psychologist) – student duo organised a suicide prevention talk entitled “Every Life Matters”. The talk aimed at increasing awareness on the occurrence of suicide in Malaysia and to have a better understanding of the psyche of suicide victims. It is crucial to increase the level of understanding of this phenomenon in Malaysia in order to reduce the level of stigma placed on suicide victims. Only with a reduction of stigma, will the general public play an active role in preventing successful suicidal acts. Speaker for Suicide Prevention Talk at IMUSuicide Prevention Talk organised by IMU Psychology students Suicide is often seen as a problem solving option when individuals are no longer able to think of other possible solutions to their problems. In situations like this public play an important role as they can always reach out to those individuals who have not been themselves (e.g, reserved, isolated, and pessimistic). Reaching out is as simple as asking them “Are you okay?” and allocating them about 15 minutes of your time. All the public needs to do is to be mentally present without being judgmental while they listen. Some do’s and don’ts in addition to myths and facts were discussed during this talk. The key feature of this talk was the Q and A session which lasted for about 45 minutes, whereby the audience addressed their queries with the Clinical Psychologist, Puvessha Jegathisan. It was evident that the event was able to shed light on issues within this topic and prepare the audiences to make a difference in people’s lives. More about this talk entitled “Every Life Matters”.
Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign
Meanwhile, another event by the Psychology team shook grounds in IMU not too long ago. It was the Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign. The psychology students re-enacted a drama on a real life domestic violence victim as a way to capture the audience’s’ attention in addition to teach them on their rights as a spouse and ways to handle a domestic violence situation. This event was supported by the Woman’s Aid Organization as their representative also gave a short speech on how this organisation operates to aid the victims. There are many domestic violence cases that go unreported for fear of the victim and the children’s future. The victims mainly being women do not have knowledge of their rights and the potential help available for them. This campaign highlighted that being abused may it be physically or emotionally is not accepted and no one should live in fear. Victims can call WAO directly and the social workers would make the necessary arrangements to safeguard the victim and the children from the perpetrator. This group of Psychology students were later invited to reenact this drama for one of WAO’s own event due to the positive responses received at the IMU event. More on the Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign.
Motivation for Study Behavior Workshop
IMU Psychology students organise Motivation for Study Behaviour Workshop Aside from the events and campaigns that took place on campus, our psychology students went the extra mile in organising the Motivation for Study Behavior workshop for primary students to motivate them in their studies. Our own psychology students aimed to educate primary school students in setting realistic and achievable goals. The workshop was tailored and designed step by step by the psychology students with advice from developmental psychologist, Dr Chong Shue Ling, who is also the Programme Director of IMU’s psychology programme. For this, the psychology students conducted hands-on activities to help the primary students in recognising their goals, identifying their obstacles towards achieving those goals, as well as formulating steps towards achieving their academic goals. The event received good responses from both the students and their teachers, in which both our psychology students and their workshop participants have learnt new skills and knowledge through this workshop.

At IMU, the psychology students do not just focus solely on academics but also get the opportunity to explore their area of interest such as raising awareness in suicide prevention and domestic violence, or even encouraging positive development in people. Psychology students at IMU always have a chance to unleash their full potential, as the focus is not just about academic excellence, but also carving opportunities to apply their knowledge into real life settings such as educating the public. In addition to giving one to one attention when required academically, the lecturers here are also willing to spend extra time in making sure that the students are well guided in exploring their interest and advising them in carrying out events as such. The bonding of lecturers and students are further strengthened by our mentor-mentee system in the university, whereby each student will be assigned a lecturer as the mentor. The mentor will be able to provide useful advice and guidance to the student throughout their years of study at IMU.

The IMU psychology students are also guided by a team of experts and psychologists from diverse fields, for instance from the field of developmental psychology, clinical psychology, industrial and organisational psychology, neuropsychology, counselling etc. Hence, students here are exposed to diverse fields of psychology which will broaden their view and knowledge aiding them in choosing their future career pathway, as well as study pathway towards postgraduate level to fulfill their desire to become a psychologist. We believe that every student can flourish in their own way in our IMU Psychology programme.

Written by Dr Chong Shue Ling, Programme Director of Psychology Programme, Developmental Psychologist (Child and Adolescence Development) and Puvessha Jegathisan, Lecturer, Clinical Psychologist.

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