Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
Lecturers' wellness in ERT
Start: 25/08/2020, 12:45
End: 25/08/2020, 13:45
Contact:Juanita Layman - 021 808 3717
Location: MS Teams


Emergency migration to online teaching in the Covid-19 pandemic: Impact on the mental health and wellness of lecturers and other university staff.

One of the main consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic is living and working in a far more virtual world than before. Many industries have survived the pandemic by making the move to working online, and universities have been no exception. Studies that predate the Covid-19 pandemic have suggested that online lecturers' health is enhanced by enjoyment of autonomy, freedom, ensuring quality and best practice, enabling engagement with learners and colleagues and that health is compromised by a mismatch of time allocation and workload, long periods of sitting working intensely through a computer, and a lack of recognition by colleagues, management and faculty (Whittet, 2019). However, the move to online teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic happened rapidly, with emphasis on continued teaching excellence despite high levels of uncertainty and anxiety. This left lecturers and faculty staff very little time to prepare or brace themselves for a completely different way of teaching and assessing students. The impact of this on the mental health and well-being of lecturers and other colleagues is only beginning to be understood and much of the focus during the pandemic thus far has been on the impact on students.   The presentation will explore the impact of this rapid migration to online teaching on the mental health of the lecturer and colleagues.  It presents a model for minimizing stress exposure during the pandemic as well as offering practical guidelines for self-care. 


Auxin speaker Salisha Maharaj is a Senior Clinical Psychologist with a joint appointment in the Child, Family and Adolescent Unit at Tygerberg Hospital and in the Stellenbosch University Department of Psychiatry at Tygerberg. Salisha has a special interest in working with infants and their caregivers and has trained extensively in parent-infant psychotherapy and therapy for under-fives. She is also the Secretary of the Western Cape Association of Infant Mental Health. Salisha has a keen interest in Family therapy and in Systems Theory and founded the Family Therapy Clinic at Tygerberg Hospital Child and Adolescent unit.

Dr Christina van der Merwe will be a panel member to assist with Auxin questions and answers. Christina is Principal Clinical Psychologist at Tygerberg Academic Hospital and Senior lecturer in the department of Psychiatry, FMHS.  Christina has been a registered clinical psychologist since 1989 after completing Master's degree at Stellenbosch University.  She completed a Doctoral degree in Child Psychology at the University of the Free State in 2009. Christina's work experience include psychologist in Old Mutual, clinical counsellor at Adolescent Psychiatric assessment unit in Canada, private practice and director at JVR Test Publishing and Consulting Psychologists. Her clinical interests include psychological treatment of children and adolescents, psychometric assessments and patients with eating disorders.

Recommended reading:

Frances Ann Whittet (2019): Health and wellbeing of the online lecturer: a phenomenological study, International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, DOI:

10.1080/14635240.2020.1713189 (available here)

Mohamed Buheji, Haitham Jahrami, Ali Sabah Dhahi (2020). Minimising Stress Exposure During Pandemics Similar to COVID-19. International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences 2020, 10(1): 9-16 (available here)

​The Crisis Kit. 5 Tools for Helping Clients Through Turbulent Times. (available here)


25 August 2020  12:45 – 13:45


MSTeams at this link:

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Learn more about Teams

Join with a video conferencing device VTC Conference ID: 1259751157

Alternate VTC dialing instructions


Juanita Layman at Tel: +27 21 808 3717 or


Auxin Aug2020 3.jpg