Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
A mental health crises on our campuses?
Start: 19/09/2019, 18:30
End: 19/09/2019, 19:30
Contact:Wiida Fourie-Basson - 021 808 2684
Location: GUS Art Gallery, c/o Dorp and Bird Streets, Stellenbosch

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines mental health as:

“a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community".

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) provide students with ample opportunities to develop and grow their knowledge and skills to optimally provide in the needs of a flourishing society. The reality is, however, that our campuses are at risk of experiencing a mental health crises.

Those students who are not mentally well are less able to realise their own potential, they find it difficult to cope with the normal stresses of student life, their productivity is negatively affected and in the end their contributions to society are hampered. HEIs, in fact, are under immense pressure to provide in the psychological needs of students who are at risk of developing mental illnesses.

A recent American study showed that mental health concerns and related behaviour of students have increased significantly in 2015 when compared to previous years. Anxiety and depression topped the list of psychopathology symptoms students reported. A 2017 study revealed that at least 12% of university students at a South African HEI experience moderate to severe symptoms of depression.

As the 2019 academic year is coming towards its end, Science Café Stellenbosch asked Mr Charl Davids, deputy-director of SU's Center for Student Counselling and Development (CSCD), and Dr Elmien Sinclair, head of Academic Counselling and Development, to talk about students' mental wellness and how to develop their coping skills in order to promote their own and the student community's mental wellbeing. The conversaton will be moderated by Prof Anna-Mart Engelbrecht from the Department of Physiological Sciences.

More about the speakers

Mr Charl Davids has recently been appointed deputy-director of the Centre for Student Counselling and Development. Before this appointment, he was a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of the Western Cape, where he served as deputy-head of the department from 2013-2015. He is a registered Counselling Psychologist with an interest in substance abuse, sport psychology and issues around identity.

Dr Elmien Sinclair heads the CSCD's Unit for Academic Counselling and Development. She is a registered educational psychologist with a passion for creating opportunities for students to develop their potential. She supports a holistic developmental approach to promote student success.

The Centre for Student Counselling and Development offers professional psychological support and developmental services to the Stellenbosch University community. 

Science Café Stellenbosch is an initiative of SU's Faculty of Science to encourage discussion of scientific issues in a language that everyone can understand. Entrance is free.

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Graphics: ​©Cayla Basson