The new students of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, have been advised to pay attention to their mental health to remain productive to themselves and the university at large.
A psychiatrist and mental health expert at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Dr. Bunmi Buhari made this call at the university auditorium basement on Wednesday during the department’s Freshers’ Orientation Programme.
Bunmi, who was the guest speaker at the event, emphasized the need to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health. “Just like other illnesses or diseases, mental health issues are normal,” she said.
She stressed further that students should deal with mental health struggles that affect their mental capacity and cognitive functioning. She mentioned that “A shift in the mental wellbeing of students results in differences in the behavior and capacity of such students.”
In identifying the various causes of such shifts, she attributed the triggers to socio-economic issues, financial constraints, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits, change in environment, and sudden independence.
Having mentioned the causes, Bunmi suggested some practical coping strategies to the students in dealing with challenges and constraints. She admonished them to stay away from substance and alcohol abuse and also learn the reading and resting styles that work for them so they can implement them in their schedule.
In his address, the Association of Mass Communication Students’ (AMCOS) President, Campbell Preye, advised the new students on being committed and focused as new members of the AMCOS family, explored life as a student and life as an adult, and also taking in the experience wholesomely.
Similarly, the Head of the Department of Mass Communication, Dr. L.K Mustapha, mentioned that the students now have to take up responsibility and be accountable to themselves as university students and as individuals. He, therefore, hammered on the need to strictly abide by the University dress code.
While addressing the students, the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, Prof. L. A. Azeez, admonished them to learn how to cope amidst life and academic challenges, struggles, and setbacks.