KNUST, Johnson and Johnson to address mental health issues

Mrs Victoria De-Graft Adjei, the Head of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Counselling Centre (KCC), has reiterated the significance of nurturing resilient mindsets to attain academic and personal goals.

In that regard, she announced a programme called Resilient Minds Future Leaders Programme , and explained that the programme was a mental health initiative of Johnson and Johnson and KNUST aimed at addressing prevalent mental health issues among students.

The programme was launched in Kumasi at a programme called Academic Life Seminar for Students and Resilient Minds Future Leaders.

A statement issued by the KNUST, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said at the programme, Professor Wilson Agyei Asare, Director of the Directorate of Student Affairs (DoSA), showed appreciation to the Johnson and Johnson team for coming on board to ensure students’ wellbeing.

He expressed the hope that the programme would be impactful and knowledgeable and urged the students to make use of it.

Reverend Professor Frances Emily Owusu-Ansah, representing the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo, expressed profound appreciation for the collaborative efforts aimed at addressing mental health challenges.

She highlighted the importance of prioritising mental health management, citing statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) that ‘13 per cent of Ghanaians suffer from mental health issues.”

She called on all participants to actively engage in the programme to effectively reduce mental health challenges within the university community.

An alumnus of KNUST, Mr Emmanuel Asante Antwi, alumnus of KNUST, the Key Account Manager of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership.

He applauded Resilient Minds as a groundbreaking initiative aimed at increasing awareness of mental health disorders within the university community.

“Our ultimate goal is to reduce stigma, improve overall health and enhance the quality of life for all members of the University,” he said, and reaffirmed their commitment to improving mental health.

“By working hand in hand, we can empower future generations to live healthier, more resilient lives,” he said.

Mr Rabbi Darko, Counsellor for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, shared knowledge on “Becoming a Grade ‘A’ Student”.

He urged students to set clear goals and develop effective study strategies.

He emphasised the importance of consistency, proactive planning, and efficient time management in achieving academic excellence.

Madam Akua Afriyie Addae, a Clinical Psychologist, delved into “Identifying and Supporting Peers in Distress.”

She outlined common causes of distress among students such as financial problems, broken homes, relationship problems, addiction and outlined a framework for recognising those in distress, responding to, and referring individuals in need of support.

She said the significance of observing behavioural patterns and symptoms, indicating distress and encouraged students to seek assistance from counselors and peer support networks.

The programme also featured a short video presentation showcasing the objectives and goals of the Resilient Minds initiative, further emphasising the commitment of both KNUST and Johnson and Johnson to foster a mentally resilient campus environment.

The Resilient Minds programme aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Good Health and Well-being. It also seeks to build the capacity of healthcare professionals and boost avenues for early mental health interventions.

Source: GNA

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