Are You Enjoying Good Mental Health?
By Rhy Seung-hyi, Tribune Reporter
Lately, many students have a tendency to identify and correct their weaknesses and to reinforce their strengths in various fields in order to foster self-development. This trend is closely connected to a serious situation that recent graduates are unable to easily find employment. The high unemployment rate among young people seems to make them directly or indirectly pay attention to improve their personal networking and work skills, which are affected by each individual's thoughts, feelings, and actions, particularly when faced with life's challenges and stresses.
How about your mental health? Have you ever suffered from psychological problems? The Department of Counseling (DC) in the Overall Human Resources Development Center operates various programs to solve psychological problems of CNU students and help them promote good mental health. The programs are psychological and personality tests, individual one-to-one and group counseling sessions, and others. Among them, Chonnam Tribune shall introduce two group-counseling programs for students who have psychological stress, like those that are mentioned in this article.
Self-expression Improvement Program
Sometimes, we should stick to our own views and judgments, although a majority of people would not agree with ours. In that case, if you want to persuade others who are on the other side, you should be able to express your opinion with a firm stand. Many students have difficulty expressing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions freely. The Self-expression Improvement Program (SIP) offers tips on how to speak opinions convincingly and as effectively as possible. The SIP helps participants learn expression skills and good ways to communicate and interact with others, which can build and improve confidence. The counselor, a staff of the SIP, helps participants promote self-expression through communication going side by side with diverse techniques including art, music, drama, and so on.
Presentation Anxiety Relief Program
Do you have an anxiety or fear related to giving a presentation in front of an audience? The Presentation Anxiety Relief Program (PARP) can help you to be a person who is good at expressing yourself. This program consists of several sub-programs: Publicity Activity, which helps students check their presentation activities for selling other participants on some items given to them at random, Video Feedback, through which participants can objectively identify their psychological conditions and unconscious reaction while they are doing a presentation by reviewing videotapes recorded during the program course, and Time Out, a kind of self-awareness activity to become more aware of anxiety levels by using a jumping motion and shouting the slogan "Time Out" when they feel some anxiety while giving their presentation in front of other participants.
The PARP also offers exercises to control personal feelings by experiencing some incidents in daily life related to interactions with others and writing feelings and ideas about the case for a week. This exercise decreases stress that comes from the state of being conscious of others that deters participants from give their opinion. Furthermore, participants are trained to apply those techniques acquired through the program to other strange situations. This program is not for preparing excellent presentation skills, but rather, for preparing participants to express their own opinion with a calm mind and firm confidence. In contrast, while the SIP promotes aspect of expression skills.
If you want to participate in these programs, first, you should apply in advance because there is a long waiting list. Later you take a written test, the Social Anxiety Test. If you belong to the maximum level group, you can join the SIP after having a brief interview with a counselor. Through the written test and brief interview, counselors of the DC select students who feel discomfort about social activities and strong consciousness of others. All undergraduates and graduates can apply for this program. The number of each group is limited to twelve to fifteen people and both program sessions take places six to eight times over a two-month period. The fee deposit is 2000 to 5000 won and you can get it back after finishing the program.
Now, are you ready to enjoy good mental health? If so, try doing it! You can apply for it anytime, but you should hurry up because the selection is on the first-come-first served basis. If you want more detailed information, you can visit the homepage of the DC at: altair.chonnam.ac.kr/~cnuguide/.
Interview with Jung Wook (Staff, Department of Counseling)
Most problems that many students possess come from not only their temper but also their consciousness of others. The awareness is schematized in their mind and it is very difficult to remove it. Counselors of the DC help participants who have that problem to break this recognition through "recognition remedy" which changes irrational ideas into reasonable ones in their mind by being reminded from a counselor. As a counselor, I consistently say to students, "you don't have to try to make good impressions on others, and others never laugh at you". We also help students do a "relaxation exercise," which renders the body relaxed and makes participants learn easily to control their tension in public. If students will steadily practice this program, students would gain their confidence and self-existence. And the SIP has an affect on the level of personal relationship, because students can build confidence after getting accustomed to something non-ordinary and strange through this program. They will also have the ability to gain greater scholarly aptitude and get a good school record. I think the SIP is a great program for many students.
Interview with Kim Mi-young (Senior, Dept. of Economics)
Before I participated in the Presentation Anxiety Relief Program (PARP), I had become faced with the insurmountable fright in public. So I used to avoid classes with presentations. However, I became a senior and I had to get ready for the working environment and society. I could not avoid doing a presentation any more and giving a presentation is a key ability when seeking for a job these days. Just then, I saw a placard informing the PARP. I decided to join in the program. Among them, the video feedback program was impressive and is a great help to me. Video feedback objectively helped me identify my natural reaction when I felt tension in public. Thanks to this, I could reform my look, gestures, and tone when I do a presentation. I think this program may not be directly related to employment but, actually, related to our life. I am sure that it can give self-confidence to each of us. CNU students, faculty, and staff! Give it a try for the better life!