KSU launched the Mental Health First Aid Course, which they have been working on together with The President’s Trust, in order to promote mental health on the University of Malta campus. The president of KSU, Carla Galea, introduced the launch by stating how the mental health issues that arise at university are primarily related to stress. For this reason, KSU’s Social Policy Commission has been working with The President’s Trust to offer a mental health first aid course for students, following the demands of students themselves for such a programme.
Sarah Borda Bondin, Director of The President’s Trust, expressed how The President’s Trust had always worked at developing a higher awareness for mental health among students. She complimented KSU for having “hit the nail on the head” with this initiative as it will be of great help in spreading the word on mental health. She pointed out that, unlike common belief, mental health issues are not only found among individuals who come from troubled backgrounds or other such difficulties. Everyone can experience such issues at varying degrees.
This was followed by comments from Petra Grech — KSU’s Social Policy Commission. While thanking the President’s Trust Foundation for their help, she explained how a number of students and student organisations showed interest in mental health this year which is why KSU started working on the Mental Health First Aid Course. Petra also expressed how this course will not only help participants empathise with other students, but also learn how to empathise with themselves and hopefully transfer such knowledge onto others.
Finally, Christian Aquilina, who also manages KSU’s Social Policy Commission, explained the application process which the participants went through in order to take part in the course. Out of 41 applications, 20 participants were carefully chosen. This amount was divided as follows:
• 7 students from the Faculty of Medicine & Surgery • 3 students from the Department of Psychology • 2 students form the Faculty of Economics, Management & Accountancy • 2 students from the Department of Nursing • 2 students from the Department of Social Sciences • 1 student from the Faculty of Laws • 1 student from the Faculty of Arts • 1 student from the Department of Statistics and Operations Research • 1 student from the Department of Pharmacy.
This was done with the intention of having a diversity of individuals across various departments in order to help and accommodate all students within the University of Malta.
The Mental Health Frist Aid Course is being offered in collaboration with the Richmond Foundation. The first session will be held on the Friday 25th of November with another session happening the following Friday, 1st December.