Student Counselling and Development reaches a record number of students in 2015

Annette Willemse -- Tue, 12/08/2015 - 13:34

Student Counselling and Development reaches a record number of students in 2015

Considering the total of 15 300 people that has been reached either by individual sessions and/or group activities hosted by Student Counselling and Development (SCD), a 138% increase in exposure during 2015 is a noteworthy accomplishment. 


Individual counselling

This is according to Dr Saneth Dreyer, Manager of the Student Counselling and Development Directorate on the Vaal Triangle Campus.  The purpose of SCD is mainly the wellbeing of students on Campus. A total of 1 450 individual counselling sessions (of which 910 were first time clients) were conducted during the 2015 academic year, with 584 follow-up sessions to boot.  Dr Dreyer explains that those who are seen for follow-up interviews are seen for a maximum of 7-10 sessions. “Our focus is on short term solution focused interventions in order to make an immediate impact on the client’s situation.”

The following challenges were identified and successfully addressed during 2015: academic difficulties, adjustment challenges, anxiety, bereavement, career guidance, mood difficulties, psycho-social difficulties, relational difficulties, sexual health, substance dependence, trauma, disability, financial difficulties and food insecurity.

Group activities

“SCD really made its impact felt in 2015 and our statistics indicate an increase of 149% in participation amongst staff and students,” says Dr Dreyer and adds that it reflects on the efficiency and relevance of the group activities, workshops and information days which were hosted. “Our group activities can be seen as SCD’s attempt to be proactive in our engagement with our students and our immediate environment. We have a wellness event calendar that runs throughout the year and we try to observe national and global wellness events in order to create awareness and support to those in need.”

This year saw SCD hosting several group activities, including: first year orientation, Valentine’s Day Celebration, STI/Condom/Pregnancy Awareness Week, First Things First HIV/Aids Campaign, Campus Wellness Days, Disability Awareness Day, a Girlology Campaign and a HIV/Aids candlelight ceremony. In terms of the SCD Career Centre events such as a work reediness seminar, a CV and interview workshop, Bean Counting Day and several career fairs took place.

Also active in the community

Apart from the wide variety of services offered within the Campus community, SCD also played an active role in the Vaal Triangle community. Initiatives that come to mind includes: participation in the annual CANSA Relay for Life, study and career guidance sessions to prospective students, attending high school career exhibitions and hosting several workshops pertaining to issues such as domestic violence and substance abuse.