Doha, Qatar: University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST) Student Success and Counselling (SSC) department hosted an exciting and insightful panel discussion on mental health. The in-person event, open to all UDST students and staff, was held in one of the University’s main lecture theatres on campus. The panel discussion brought together experts in the field of psychology and mental health to explore the impact of loneliness on mental health, specific ways to address loneliness, and strategies for building better relationships, making meaningful connections and maintaining positive mental wellbeing.
Dr. Salem Al-Naemi, UDST President, said “At UDST, we strive to create an environment where our students feel supported and can better understand how to look after each facet of their health and wellbeing. This event is an important step towards that goal. We know that loneliness can have a profound impact on mental health, but it is also a challenge that can be addressed. By bringing together experts and students, we hope not only to provide practical strategies for combating loneliness and building a more connected community – equipping our students with the tools they need - but also to normalize important conversations about mental health on campus."
Myriad factors can have detrimental effects on both the physical, and psychological, wellbeing of students attending university. Loneliness is a common issue among students, and developing strong connections with oneself and others is a well-known strategy for alleviating the feeling of being lonely. The panel discussion centred around why connection to others is so powerful, what ‘being connected’ actually means, and the different tools students can apply to increase their success in this area.
The panel discussion featured a diverse group of speakers, including mental health professionals and educators. External guests on the panel included Dr Atif Magbool, a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with over 22 years of experience, and lead consultant for the CAMHS Hospital Service at Sidra Medicine, and Tina Balachandran, a Clinical Director and licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 18 years of experience, who founded her own health and wellbeing consultancy “Flourishing Minds Clinic”.
This panel discussion is part of UDST’s ongoing efforts to ensure students have access to the information and support they need to stay mentally healthy. Specifically, it formed part of SSC’s “Connect to Grow” initiative, which also comes under the social media hashtag #mentalhealthatudst. The SSC department operates as part of the UDST’s Student Affairs section, and is dedicated to supporting students’ personal growth through a range of practical guidance, support centres, events and awareness workshops. Alongside mental health counselling, the department also provides academic support in the form of soft skills development and peer tutoring, career advisory, and accessibility support. The department and its services are available to all students of the University.
About University of Doha for Science and Technology:
University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST) was officially established by the Emiri Decision No13 of 2022, and it is the first national university that specializes in academic applied, technical, and professional education in the State of Qatar. UDST has over 60 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, diplomas, and certificates. The University houses 5 Colleges: The College of Business Management, the College of Computing and Information Technology, the College of Engineering Technology, the College of Health Sciences and the College of General Education in addition to specialized training centers for individuals and companies. UDST is recognized for its student-centered learning and state-of-the-art facilities. Its world-renowned faculty and researchers work on developing the students’ skills and help raise well-equipped graduates who are proudly serving different sectors of the economy and contributing to the achievement of human, social and economic development goals nationally and internationally.
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