Ewha Student Counseling Center opened Ewha Foreign Mental Health Test System (EFMHS) to support international students.
Ewha Student Counseling Center, was the first established counseling center among Korean universities to be established in 1962. With anonymity guaranteed, the center handled 2,000 counseling episodes a month.
“Our Ewha students actively use counseling center compared to other universities,” said Oh Hea-young, the director of Student Counseling Center.
Even though there are various counseling programs for international students, the center decided to open EFMHS, Korea’s first self-assessment mental health test exclusively for international students. The system was created by Ewha Counseling Center’s professors and experts along with 700 Chinese and 500 English-speaking students. To increase its accessibility, the test is provided in Korean, English and Chinese and could access 24/7. Students can take the test by logging in to the Eureka system and clicking on the E-care section.
“Although there were needs for counseling, related data or proper system was not available in Korea,” Oh stated. “As our first step for international student counseling, we decided to make EFMHS.”
The EFMHS has four sections: protective factors, general-symptom factors, specific-symptom factors and adaptation factors. Protective factors ask questions of well-being and stress coping ability. General-symptom factors focus on depression and anxiety. Specific-symptom factors are mainly of PTSD and addictions. Furthermore, adaptation factors, which are only for international students unlike other factors, concentrate on academic and daily life in Korea.
The center expects that this system could lead students to self-assess one’s mental health and check their difficulties. If the students get high scores on a particular section, the center is planning to connect experts or to contents that students can self-manage, which is also planned to be provided in English and Chinese.
EFMHS could be taken every six months, an ideal frequency of taking psychological tests. Hundred students took the test until now and the center encourages students to join more.
“We got an e-mail from the participants, thanking us for making this test and attentions on international students,” Oh said. “Don’t struggle with your fears and difficulties by yourself, get support.”