Enrolment for UG psychological support centre opens

Photo: Arek Smykowski/UG

The pandemic and prolonged lockdown have affected the mental health of many of us. In order to minimise the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the area of mental health, the University of Gdańsk is launching a University Psychological Support Centre aimed at the UG academic community: students, lecturers and university staff. We encourage you to sign up for individual meetings from March 1, 2021, which will be held online for the time being.

A report prepared by the UN on the relationship between COVID-19 and mental health states, among other things, that 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression, suicide is the second most common cause of death in people aged 15-29, and people with severe mental disorders live 10-20 years less than the general population. The UN report further shows that there is less than 1 mental health professional for every 10 000 people and the global economy loses more than $1 trillion a year due to depression and anxiety.

The full UN report.

Read also: Centre for Psychological Support of the University of Gdańsk launched

The Psychological Support Centre of the University of Gdańsk is launched with a bang

Constant insecurity, irritability, stress, anxiety and even depression. The pandemic 'new normal' is taking its toll on young people's mental health. A new Tricity centre comes to the rescue.

- 'Psychological problems, associated with isolation during a pandemic, increasingly affect both students and university staff, which is documented by many scientific studies, also conducted by our psychologists. The decision to create a centre where psychological consultations will take place was made as soon as possible, assuming that the resources of not only psychology academics but also students would be used,' - says, prof. Piotr Stepnowski, Rector of the University of Gdańsk. - 'We have an idea to develop the counselling centre within the scope for which it was established, and at the same time to offer its services to other universities. There are various ideas, e.g. that within the framework of the Daniel Fahrenheit Association of Universities in Gdańsk psychological support should also be provided to students of partner universities.'

Photo: Arek Smykowski/UG

Dr Agata Rudnik: it's time to act because the demand is huge

- 'We invite you for consultations with a psychologist, starting in March 2021. We provide short-term support, you can have up to three meetings with us, so we do not offer long-term therapies, but of course, we will provide counselling to everyone interested and in need, we will suggest further steps,' - says dr Agata Rudnik, director of the Psychological Support Centre at the University of Gdańsk. - 'One thing is certain, the demand is huge - when at the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, we were one of the first universities to provide psychological support to those in need, not yet limited to the UG academic community, patients reported to us from all over Poland. This shows the scale of the problem we face in terms of mental health in everyday life.'

How does it work and how to sign up for therapy?

How does it work? First, we register by e-mail (at cwp@ug.edu.pl) or via the website. Then we take advantage of 30-50 minutes of online counselling and consultations conducted by psychologists, also in English.

The Centre is based at 1a Bażyńskiego Street, in room 224 (the old Rector's Office building). For now, however, due to restrictions, meetings with a therapist will be held online, via Skype.

The UG Psychological Support Centre, established under the aegis of prof. Arnold Kłonczyński, Vice-Rector for Students and Quality of Education, will assist in following the provisions of the Psychologist's Code of Ethics and Professionalism developed by the Polish Psychological Association. This means that all content of conversations both via Skype and at CWP headquarters is confidential. The psychologist keeps all information about clients' personal matters to himself. An exception to this rule may be made when a person reports suicidal intentions and rapid intervention is needed in cooperation with other entities.

Elżbieta Michalak-Witkowska / Press Office of University of Gdańsk