A university lecturer who taught students during the lockdown is elated the government is pouring an extra $25million into counselling services for students.
Massey University’s Dr. Catherine Strong says it is usual for the stress to manifest itself well-after the uncomfortable event, which is now that the COVID dangers for us have subsided.
She knows the difficulties many students faced trying to complete their courses during the ‘lockdown semester’ caused by the COVID emergency.
Often dreary environments
“The stay-where-you-are lockdown meant many were caught in dreary environments, others because essential workers on top of their course work.
“Many students were without support from friends and family and often stuck in small flats alone or with people they didn’t really know. As well as having lost their part-time jobs.
Similar to journalists’ experiences
Dr. Strong likens the situation to that faced by front-line journalists who get delayed-stress.
“This is like journalists who do a laudatory professional job covering a disaster such as mass shooting or fatal natural disasters, but after it is all over their brain kicks in the assess just how dangerous and upsetting was the whole thing.
Dr. Strong says many university students did their part for the country and stayed locked down, while still learning about such unrelated things as theoretical foundations and sociological modelling.
Great analytical work
“Overall my students last semester demonstrated some of the best analytical work I’ve seen.
“It’s likely that the mental stress will kick in now that it is over and they will need professional help.
Dr. Strong says the newly-announced extra funding is a way to ensure our young people are mentally strong as well as physically healthy in the future when they become the country’s leaders.