University of Iceland psychologists say it’s normal to be sad, RÚV reports. Ásta Rún Valgerðardóttir and Katrín Sverrisdóttir, who are psychologists at the University of Iceland, appeared on Rás 1’s Mannlegi to discuss student mental health.
According to a survey commissioned by the Student Council, 62% of students do not feel well. Additionally, 72% of students felt they were under a lot of stress. This survey was carried out in October of this year. Though being a student is certainly a stressful undertaking in itself, the usual stressors of university life have surely been amplified in the wake of the pandemic.
Ásta Rún notes that because university life has changed, students may feel less connected. The lack of connectivity, due to coronavirus, may leave students feeling apathetic and unmotivated. Despite this, Ásta Rún and Katrín say they are impressed with the resilience of students, who are working hard to stay aware of their mental health, and seek treatment to combat the psychological affects of living through the pandemic. They say that feeling sad is a normal response to stressful situations and life events.
The university has seen a great increase in the requests for help from the university mental health services (perhaps in part due to the fact that the University of Iceland is already hosting a record number of new students this year, a figure which is set to increase in 2021).
In order to provide access to students, the mental health team has acquired a new psychologist. In addition to this, the mental health services at the universities are being re-shuffled for next year. It is hoped that students will not have to wait longer than one month before receiving treatment.
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