- Amber Tay
Mental Health Help within NUS
Updated: Sep 27, 2021
Congratulations! You’ve officially reached the midway point of the semester. Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it.
With the foreboding midterms coming our way, it is more important than ever to take care of our mental health. Unfortunately, as much as we preach journaling and self-care, sometimes it's just not enough to solely rely on such methods. So, I’m here to remind you of some NUS sources you can always go to if you need advice or just a listening ear.
Help from Educators
If you wish to talk to a senior about your troubles, you can contact the CNM Undergraduate Counselling Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to them individually at the following emails:
Rizwana Begum: email@example.com
Rebecca Zhou: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy Ho: email@example.com
Here are some statements to get to know them better!
Cindy: "As a CNM graduate and TA, Cindy is quite familiar with how the department works! She likes to think of herself as an approachable senior, so feel free to drop her an email if you need any advice, or if you just want to have a chat."
Rebecca: "A FASS alumni, Rebecca likes to watch Netflix or seek out new books. She's passionate about mentoring, so feel free to reach out to her if you want to speak to someone."
Rizwana: "Having been a TA for over 5 years, and a student of CNM before that, Rizwana has lots of experience in helping her juniors and students navigate through the ups and downs of university life. As a mum of two young kids, she's more than familiar in providing a safe space for you to just be yourself and listen to you with an open heart and mind."
Though they are not professional counselors, they aim to provide a safe space for students to talk about any issues or challenges that they might be facing, as well as make sure that they are re-directed to the appropriate people when necessary. Their priority is to ensure the students that approached them are able to get the best help they can get. Their services may also expand over the next couple of semesters!
However, if you do wish to seek professional help, one such way is through the NUS Counselling Services offered at the University Health Centre.
Help from Professionals
To set an appointment with the NUS Counselling Services, drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will contact you shortly afterward to ask for some details. This includes factual details such as your contact number, as well as your preferences for a male or female counselor. They may also ask for a one or two-word description of your concern.
What should you expect?
Don’t expect your problems to be solved immediately by the first session. Though it may vary from every situation, you can usually expect your first session to be more of an introduction to why you chose to seek counseling, to begin with. Furthermore, they may also ask questions to understand more about what has led to your current situation. It would also be helpful to tell them what you wish to gain from the sessions!
Due to the limited counselors in the team, do not expect to be able to book an appointment within a few days. In fact, you should expect to only be able to attend your session at least a month after booking. However, if you do not feel that you can cope before your appointment, you can always walk in during office hours (8.30 am-5.30 pm on Monday-Thursday, 8.30 am-5 pm on Friday) and a counselor will see you for a short assessment. Moreover, you are only given eight sessions for free, and should not expect it to be a long-term solution.
It can feel frustrating to have your problems be on hold while you wait for your appointment with the counselor. While art jamming and journaling may not be long-term solutions, it always helps to have a place to go when things begin to feel too stressful. This is where NUS Peer Student Supporters come in!
Help from Peers
Do you know that there are virtual pitstops sessions held every Tuesday and Friday? Organized by NUS students, NUS Peer Student Supporters is part of a Student Wellness initiative by OSA that gives students a place to go to and relax when they need to de-stress. Just pop by on Zoom from 1 PM to 5 PM on Tuesdays and Fridays to join them for a chill and fun de-stressing session. Sign-up link can be found on their Instagram bio at @nus.pss! (https://www.instagram.com/nus.pss/)
(P.S. they have an online art jamming session this coming Monday (27 September) from 8 to 9 PM, so come sign up if you have the time!)
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! The counselors from both CNM Undergraduate Counselling Team and UCS are there to help you out. They can only help you if you are willing to be as open as you can with them regarding your problems. However, it should also be noted that counseling is personal: what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. If you feel that your counselor’s methods do not suit you, you can always request to change!
Best of luck!