KCC Opens Counselling And Emotional Health Awareness Week
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) Counselling Centre(KCC) has officially commenced the first Counselling and Emotional Awareness Week themed: “Promoting Good Emotional and Mental Health Among Students and Staff “. The event saw patronage by KNUST students and staff, senior high schools, professional counsellors, health workers and the general public.
Dr. Sr. Emily Owusu-Ansah, Head of the KCC, in her address stated that her outfit is committed towards a choice of success to careers, personal and academic development of members in the University, and as part of efforts to achieve the Centre’s mission and vision.
Dr. Sr. Owusu-Ansah continued that in addition to caring for the emotional health of the University community, the event is to create awareness on the essence of seeking professional counselling as well as the existence of the Centre for patronage.
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Reverend Professor Charles Ansah, in his keynote address, lauded the efforts of the KCC over the years; especially in initiating and training peer counsellors to augment the work of counsellors in the institution.
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Reverend Professor Charles Ansah
Rev Prof. Charles Ansah, Pro Vice-Chancellor
Rev. Professor Ansah further stated that with the increasing number of students, not all students would have emotional stability and to ensure sound emotional wellbeing of students, the step the Centre took was in the right direction.
He noted that the theme for the event was appropriate for everyone to appreciate that emotional and psychological state has a bearing on our development and it is one of the reasons for the establishment of the Centre. He pledged management’s support to provide the necessary staffing which is a major challenge to the Centre.
Dr. Joseph Osafo, a Clinical Psychologists and Suicidologist, from the Department of Psychology, the University of Ghana, in his presentation on “Suicide and Mental health: Early Counselling Intervention” revealed that not all suicidal attempts are from mental health patients. He further stated that suicide is currently a global public health issue and must be given the necessary attention and urgency by all stakeholders.
Dr. Joseph Osafo
Dr. Joseph Osafo, Department of Psychology
Dr. Osafo lamented that 75% of all cases of suicide occurs in less and middle income countries and yet there is no funding for research in these countries. He stated that statistics indicate that the world’s average rate of suicide is about 11% per 100,000 population per year compared to 3.1% in Ghana. He continued that suicide rates have been on the ascendency and more than 80% of victims are men with economic related issues as the leading cause of suicide.
Dr. Osafo cited emotional issues, spiritual crisis, status related crisis, chronic illness and domestic violence especially incest as some of the reported causes of suicide. He therefore called for more education on suicide and improvement in nationwide counselling as well as the removal of common myths about suicide.
In conclusion he also called on the general public to desist from condemning, shunning and mocking citizens who had attempted suicide but to help them.
Other events lined up to mark the Counselling and Emotional Awareness week include talks on relationships, Day with your College Provosts and Counsellors, Blood Donation Exercise, Health Screening and Counselling Sessions.