Nelson Mandela University launches stress management course

Nelson Mandela University launches stress management course

The Nelson Mandela University in the Eastern Cape has launched a short course that aims to equip workers with ways to regulate stress.

The course takes students through steps to navigate their way from a state of anxiety or panic to a feeling of calmness. The short learning programme was developed by psychiatrist Professor Zukiswa Zingela after conducting research on how to best support healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in resource-limited settings.

The course is about managing stress, anxiety and high emotions amid stressful situations. It is all done from the comfort of your home or work with just a click of a finger. Professor Zingela says the online short course will enhance coping skills in just a few hours.

“I realised as a psychiatrist with lots of experience in mental health that a lot of people are struggling during COVID and more importantly our health workers were struggling where other people had to be at home. Health workers had to be in the frontline where exactly the kinds of situations were at peak which of course people ran away from. So, following the intense training of how to take care of physical needs of people, I then realised that we are not taking care of our mental and psychological needs.”

The programme shares different, evidence-based cognitive and behavioural methods which are packaged with the appropriate mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

“It has helped the department when we have high pressure situations, there’s been an improvement in terms of how we deal with it. We are able to recognise when the pressure is increasing and we’ve got the skills to be able to just lower the pressure,” says one of the people who have taken the course.

Some say the course also includes a focus on skills that enhance people’s preparedness to cope with a situation or event that causes stress and the ability to master basic relaxation and mindfulness techniques.

“So, in learning about that, it helped me to cope with the stress, the anxiety and the fear of the unknown. It helped me to focus on my work because I could process my feelings in a healthy way that helped me understand myself better. The programme is already open for registration. It is now accessible countrywide both face-to-face and online.

Source: eNCA

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