For a traumatic event, like Covid-19, to be assessed and processed, normally requires that it is over. But as we have been told so often, there is no clear teleological end-point. We need to understand trauma while enduring its continuing presence. And nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of mental health, both at a student and staff level.
Professor Jason Bantjes and Professor Dan Stein have worked on the crucial area of student mental health in relation to the lingering impact of Covid-19. The study originated via the WHO World Mental Health Surveys – International College Student (WMH-ICS) Initiative. It was funded by the SAMRC and took the form of an online survey with over 24,000 participants which assessed mental health needs, risk and protective factors, treatment seeking, stressors, GBV, and other factors pertinent to understanding the domain of mental health.
Dr Keamogetse Morwe from the University of Venda and based at the Institute for Gender and Youth Studies, spoke about staff and collective mental health at universities.