ZU holds suicide prevention workshops on World Mental Health Day

  • Wednesday 09, October 2019 01:29 PM
  • ZU holds suicide prevention workshops on World Mental Health Day
Sharjah 24: Celebrating the Annual World Mental Health Day, Zayed University held several workshops and interactive sessions on both campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Focusing on the social, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing of the students.
Together for ''Suicidal Prevention'' signalized the two-day event, which was organized by the ZU Student Counseling Center and the Department of Psychology.

Dr. Justine Thomas, Professor of Psychology at Zayed University, said, "Globally, 300 million people suffer from depression. Depression varies in severity, but at the sharp end, it can lead to suicide. Around 800,000 people die due to suicide each year, the second leading cause of death among those between the ages of 15 and 29."

"World Mental Health Day is a time for mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. We know that the development of mental health issues can be associated with being bullied, victimized, or generally treated unkindly. We can all help reduce mental health issues through simple acts of kindness," he added.

Senior Student Counselor at Zayed University, Aliaa Ajel, highly emphasized the significance of forming an environment, in which students can feel a sense of belonging and safety, or in other words, a "Safe Zone."

"This zone is the first stage for us to detect those who are mentally or emotionally distressed. Students arrived here today, to our Safe Zone, and sit next to each other, listen to relaxing melodies and carve scented soapstones." This technique, Ajel believes, helps individuals cope with life's chronic changes, anxiety, train the mind to be in the present moment without judgment. It also develops compassion for oneself and others.

She further added that "College years are meant to be a journey of growth in which young people develop an identity and a sense of self. During college years, students go through phases of role transition, which is where the role of a counselor is valuable." She supports students so that they may go through role transition barriers smoothly. She meets them where they are, assists them in building their self-confidence to reach their optimal level of functioning, and focuses on modeling positive engagement with them.

Smell and Happiness
Mariam Ahmed, Naema Mohamed, and Sara Saeed, Psychology students at the College of Natural and Health Sciences, presented a research study related to Aromachology. They were discussing how scents affect our mood and work performance.

"We found out, that experts discovered that there is a difference in olfactory cortical neuron activity in the left and right of the brain, which correlates with the pleasantness ratings of the odorants. Positive emotions are predominantly processed by the left hemisphere of the brain, while the right hemisphere more often processes the negative emotions."

To be socially accepted, students suggested, according to The Healthy, an online portal that provides real, science-backed answers to most important health questions and problems, that wearing pleasant perfumes improves a person's social life and overall happiness.

"Based on the article ‘8 Smells That Can Make You Happier, According to Science’ by Chelsea Stone, we’ve created a brochure and distributed it to the students.” The brochure read that Pine helps reduce stress, Citrus boosts energy, Fresh-cut grass adds to the relaxation and elevates joy. Lavender has calming effects that ease insomnia and depression. Jasmine helps contain a good mood, Rosemary amplifies brainpower, and Peppermint helps stimulate mind and body."