The Mind Keepers will be working on two major events throughout the year. One is organizing a couple of events in two booths during 2015 Mental Health Counseling Fair on April 8 and 9. The other is holding an event during Mental Health Week in October. In addition, Mind Keepers will have reading and discussion sessions about counseling throughout the year and invite students who have endured psychological hardships for special lectures.
All activities or events will be organized and promoted by the student group with the support of Ewha Student Counseling Center (ESCC).
“We initiated the Mind Keeper program to encourage more students to pay more attention to their mental health and to create an atmosphere where students can freely create programs related to counseling,” said Lee Eun-jin, an official of ESCC. “The importance of this program lies in students’ own efforts to organize events and programs to understand other students’ psychological problems.”
The ESCC has recruited 24 students to be Mind Keepers throughout two semesters. It first recruited seven students for the fall semester of 2014, who worked for one semester. Then, 17 more students newly joined for the spring semester of 2015, who will be working for one year.
Participants were limited to students who have attended the special lecture on suicide prevention in either liberal arts or major classes, and those who are interested in suicide prevention and mental health. The eligibility rule was made as the special lecture provided in specific classes was the first training course mandatory to be Mind Keepers.
“Since we recruited a small number of students for the first semester, we decided to count all students recruited in both semesters as our first Mind Keepers,” Lee said.
After its official launch on Feb. 25, Seodaemun-gu Health Center provided second mandatory lecture on suicide prevention for Mind Keepers on the same day. Mind Keepers held orientations on March 3, 4 and 5 to discuss specific themes of events that will take place in the 2015 Mental Health Counseling Fair.
“I have learned a lot more than what I had known about suicide prevention and mental health through lectures,” An Tae-young (Psychology, 3) said. “Moreover, it was interesting to share my ideas on counseling with many students who are also interested in this topic. Since the group will last for a year, from now on, I expect that more interaction would take place among Mind Keepers.”
The ESCC stated that all officials are willing to provide financial support, for example, in purchasing materials needed for preparing booths in the events. In addition, all officials in the center, who are experts in counseling, would provide needed advices for Mind Keepers.
“Students are living in a time of fierce competition, often resulting in excessive stress,” Lee said. “At this time, taking care of mental health on campus is crucial. We hope for Mind Keepers to play a leading role in encouraging others to look back on their busy lives and pay more attention to their mental health.”
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