NEXUS CONTINUED TO EMBRACE ITS POST LOCKDOWN REALITY, BADGERING UNIVERSITY STAFF TILL THEY CONDUCTED A VIRTUAL INTERVIEW. THIS WEEK IT WAS SUZY FLOURIE FROM THE WELLBEING HUB
NEXUS What kind of support do you provide?
SUZY With The Wellbeing Hub doors physically closed since lockdown, we have moved to a virtual hub online. The Student Wellbeing Ambassadors team and I are dedicated to providing students with inspiring, educational and inclusive wellbeing content @wellbeinghubuniofwaikato.
If students would like to see specific topics covered they are encouraged to get in touch with me – firstname.lastname@example.org
NEXUS What is in place for those with visual or hearing impairments that need support?
SUZY The Wellbeing Hub is currently limited to sharing our content via Facebook & Instagram.
If there is a better way to reach those who would like wellbeing inspiration and don’t find this accessible they are invited to get in touch.
NEXUS Has the demand for support increased since the lockdown was announced?
SUZY Awareness of how central wellbeing is to our lives has definitely come into stark relief since lockdown was announced. For most of us the distraction of the daily grind fell away and we were left with important questions like; o Have I been valuing my own wellbeing? o Do I know how to support my own wellbeing? o Do I allow others to support me? o Do I support others?
This moment, because it is so confronting and strange provides an unique opportunity to reprioritise our wellbeing and find ways to grow our capacities.
The Wellbeing Hub team is always open to developing and offering programs and content to support this growth. If students have ideas, again, get in touch. I am here to listen: email@example.com
NEXUS Has the demand decreased as we go down the alert system? Obviously the Wellbeing Hub has not been open- so I am not making nearly as many cups of tea.
SUZY However, requests for wellbeing ideas/inspiration has not slowed down. Which, to me, is a good thing because it shows people are asking the important questions.
NEXUS What resources are available for those that need it? SUZY For wellbeing inspiration and ideas: @wellbeinghubuniofwaikato If students are curious about a particular aspect of wellbeing- they are welcome to contact us.
NEXUS How will these resources be accessible? SUZY Social media or email
NEXUS Will the facilities be open when the campus opens?
SUZY At this stage the Wellbeing Hub will remain closed but our virtual hub is always available.
NEXUS Any advice for those who are struggling with a mental illness that have fear returning back on campus?
SUZY I can only answer this from my unique perspective (in other words, as a Wellbeing enthusiast/fallible human rather than “mental illness expert.”)
With that caveated, what comes to mind is this quote by Pema Chodron:
“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
In other words, be exceptionally kind with yourself. Do what you can in any given moment. That may mean getting in touch with the counselling/mental health team, having a cup of tea, taking a gentle breath or a walk, emailing lecturers to explain the situation, etc.) Then repeat. Eventually, in this way, you can achieve what is meaningful to you, at your own pace in your own way.
NEXUS What is put into place for those that had their grades affected due to struggling with their mental health.
SUZY Good question! I would expect there are people aware of this concern and working on compassionate solutions.