Tue, 02 February, 2021
Graduates students from the PhD programme, as well MSc and MBA courses, are supported and encourage to look after their mental health.
Since the onset of the global pandemic in early 2020, the NSIRC students, their affiliated universities and companies, TWI and NSIRC colleagues, as well as the rest of the world, have had to contend with unprecedented and challenging times. This has affected, and continues to impact on, all areas of life, both professional and personal.
Therefore, of utmost importance to NSIRC is that it proactively supports its students to ensure their personal welfare and continued academic well-being for the duration of the pandemic situation.
The NSIRC Student Committee has played a key role in supporting the doctoral degree and masters students to feel part of a community and remain physically connected to their peers, tutors, NSIRC staff and TWI colleagues during this time. Various activities and online meetups have been organised at which students can come together and share their experiences. NSIRC social media has also been used, for example personal videos of individual studying at home, to enable the students to share what ‘lockdown’ has been like for them with others in a similar situation.
Students are usually office and laboratory-based at TWI, but since the pandemic they have largely been studying remotely from their own homes located across many countries of the globe. Therefore, NSIRC has been maintained an ongoing dialogue with students about their mental health, keeping communications open and talking through any potential issues as they arise.
Below are a just a few of the messages on physical and mental well-being that TWI and NSIRC have been sharing during the pandemic.
In addition, Heather Wawryka, Occupational Health Advisor at TWI gave a presentation to NSIRC students to inform them that they can access emotional support from helplines, text-lines and online chat services at any time they need, as well as make sure students have the resources and ability to cope with and manage their feelings.
Commenting on her presentation to the students, Heather said “Currently we are living in a time in which we all need to share responsibility and support one another. I let the students know that we recognise many of them may be a long way from home or living in shared accommodation, that distance learning and working from home is different for everyone and we all respond and react accordingly.”
“Some of the strategies for when students may find themselves sitting at home staring into the computer screen, or alone in the evening and perhaps feeling overwhelmed and not able to think clearly, can be as straightforward as calling a friend or sending an email asking for extra support from colleagues, their university, NSIRC team within TWI or TWI colleagues” Heather added.
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