Have you been facing a problem during your studies at Masaryk University? They can be directly related to your studies, e.g. an insufficient number of credits, failed exams, or to your personal and private or social life, as a result of which you are under great mental pressure. You can always talk about problems, regardless of how specific they are, and they can be related to matters concerning society at large. Masaryk University provides its students with free services of psychologists and therapists from the Students’ Advisory Services (as many as five face-to-face or online sessions).
According to Jiří Vander, experiencing life-affecting situations is challenging for everyone, and one’s attitude towards their situation is very important. “For example in the event of the loss of a loved one, most typically death, or even breakup, or in any other situation that constitutes suffering (failure at work or in exams), one experiences stages of coping with the loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It is important to accept all feelings and emotions associated with each individual stage, instead of attempting to avoid them,” says Jiří Vander, a psychologist with the Students’ Advisory Services.
Therapist Sofiia Berezka adds that the path from shock, anger, desperation, guilt or helplessness to acceptance is a thorny one. “When one feels like they cannot manage the situation and the pain is only getting worse, to the when it is negatively affecting their normal life, they should not hesitate to contact a professional. While a psychologist cannot compensate the loss, whatever it is, he or she can definitely help get over the grief and get rid of thoughts that prevent the client from breathing normally.”
The Support Centre for Students with Special Needs, also known as the Teiresiás Centre, also provides support for mental health-related problems. Its experts specialise in long-lasting problems with negative effects on attendance, learning, studying for exams or public speaking skills.
“Students suffer from mental illnesses just like any member of the general population, and any experience with psychotic conditions or depression and the subsequent recovery is long and exhausting. Under these circumstances, it is often impossible to maintain the typical pace required of a student. Instead, the student can ask for an individual study plan to slow down the workload. Quite often we help students with the more serious mental conditions throughout their entire studies,” says one of the psychologists from the Teiresiás Centre Miroslav Zítko.
Forms of support may include regular psychological and crisis therapy or advisory in matters concerning studies, as well as intermediation of communication with the student’s faculty and individual re-scheduling of studies, reflecting the student’s condition and ability to better fulfil their requirements. In addition to direct assistance, students with more severe problems can obtain contact information on licensed psychiatrists who are known to take new patients; the centre’s staff also cooperate with the Práh association which specialises in helping people with mental illnesses, even outside the scope of studies.