05 July 2021 | Story UFS Department of Student Counselling and Development | Photo Pixabay
UFS Department of Student Counselling and Development motto: clear mind, clear path!

As humans, we tend to neglect making our mental health a priority. Mental health affects us all, but what is mental health?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines 'mental health' as a state of well-being, in which every individual –

• realises their own potential;
• can cope with the normal stresses of life;
• can work productively and fruitfully; and
• is able to make a contribution to their community.

The positive dimension of mental health is stressed in the WHO's definition of health, as contained in its constitution: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

For many people, it seems simple and straightforward to take care of their physical well-being, but they forget to spend time on mental health. You are used to brushing your teeth on a daily basis – but do you actually make a daily effort to take care of your mental health? Unfortunately, people are also more comfortable to see a doctor or pharmacist for medical concerns than admitting that they are struggling emotionally.

If we extend the same level of effort to keep ourselves mentally healthy, we will reap amazing rewards, such as being able to cope with external pressures, reaching our goals, and an increase in overall well-being.

Therefore, it is vital to pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and behaviour on a daily basis. You must acknowledge and express your emotions, as this will contribute to maintaining good mental health and a positive impact on other aspects of your well-being.

You must take a holistic approach to improving your well-being; you are a holistic being. There are many dimensions to well-being, such as the following:

1. Intellectual: Time management and effective planning
2. Emotional: Acceptance; assertiveness; self-care and self-love
3. Physical: Eat, sleep, and exercise enough – drink plenty of water!
4. Social: Be aware of the support systems and structures available to you – within your family, friendship circles, and on campus
5. Spiritual: Make time for what gives you meaning in life
6. Financial: Effective financial planning and budgeting

We hope that students feel encouraged and empowered to take the necessary steps to improve their mental health. 
To learn more about UFS Student Counselling and Development online resources which cover a variety of topics ranging from academic support to psychological wellbeing click here.

Remember that you can also make use of the 24/7 toll-free dedicated SADAG UFS Student Careline by dialing +27 0 800 00 6363.

For alternative mental health resources, click here.

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