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Student Counselling Unit Mental Health & Well-being Podcast

Student Counselling Unit Mental Health & Well-being Podcast

By Student Counselling Unit - University of Pretoria
This podcast is aimed at enhancing the mental health of students at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
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SEASON 1: Episode 1 - Building Resilience

Student Counselling Unit Mental Health & Well-being Podcast

S2: Episode 2 - Succeeding with Postgraduate Studies
This is our 2nd podcast episode of Season 2 proudly brought to you by the Student Counselling Unit (SCU) at the University of Pretoria. This episode has been conceptualized and hosted by Miss Ntombi Ndaba, Intern Counselling Psychologist at the SCU and will focus on postgraduates, specifically how to succeed with postgraduate studies. Our expert speaker for this episode is Ms Sibongile Sibanyoni, a Clinical Psychologist at the Student Counselling Unit (SCU) at UP. She has a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Rhodes University and an undergraduate and Honours level degree in Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is also currently a PhD candidate at UNISA.  USEFUL RESOURCES: Career Services - Contact 012 420 6438 or to book an appointment with a Career Services consultant/advisor on campus. Fees and Funding - Postgraduate Programmes at the University of Pretoria Library Services: Postgraduate Online Training General library enquiries: Telephone: 012 420 2235/6, WhatsApp: 066 509 1285, Email: Postgraduate Support Office - Postdoctoral Fellowships Student Counselling Unit (SCU) - Self-Help Material for Students Formal individual psychotherapy or a career assessment - please send an email to Leave your name, student number, a cell phone number, your faculty and campus, as well as a short message - we will be in touch. For all other enquiries call 012 420 2333. Remember that if you need to talk to someone immediately, it is advisable to call 0800 747 747 SCU-B Student Counselling Chatbot to Boost Student Well-Being Student Health Services - 012 420 2500 or to schedule an appointment Student Service Centre Enquiries: 012 420 3111 or
July 20, 2022
SEASON 2: Episode 1 - Adjusting well to university for 1st years & beyond
The Student Counselling Unit (SCU) at UP (University of Pretoria) is proud to bring you a second season of valuable mental health and well-being podcast episodes. The very first episode of this season focuses on how first year students can adjust well to university. Considering that after Covid hit, students who started university in 2020 and 2021 did not really get a chance to be on campus, this topic may also be relevant not only for 1st years but also for 2nd and 3rd year university students. This episode has been conceptualized and hosted by Miss Raquael Fereirra, Intern Counselling Psychologist at the SCU. Our expert guest speaker is Ms Mashudu Nefale, a dedicated Clinical psychologist who works at the SCU with vast experience in providing innovative treatment to assist with mental health struggles. She is committed to serving as an ongoing support from diagnosis, evaluation through to implementation of treatment. She is also experienced in collaborating with other relevant stakeholders to ensure that patients/clients are supported holistically. Contact details of all UP resources (for registered UP students) mentioned on this episode can be accessed via the UP website at Contact details for external resources (for non-UP students or family and friends of UP students) are listed below: Lifeline - 011 728 1347 (Free general counselling) Sadag (South African Depression and Anxiety Group - 0800 456 789 (Free 24hr mental health helpline) FAMSA (Families South Africa) - Free counselling for individuals, couples and families. Pretoria Branch. For general information contact: (012) 460 0733, 012 460 0738, 012 346 3058. Tears Foundation (access to free crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling, and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse). Helpline: Dial *134*7355# Landline: 010 590 5920 Email: Gender Based Violence Command Centre - 0800 428 428 or “please call me” facility: *120*7867#.
June 03, 2022
S1: Episode 9 - Suicide Prevention
This podcast episode is proudly brought to you by the Student Counselling Unit at the University of Pretoria. The expert guest speaker for this podcast episode is Ms Vanishaa Gordan, the Operations Manager from Sadag (South African Depression and Anxiety Group). Ms Gordan will be sharing valuable information with our listeners on what signs to look out for in loved one's who may be suicidal and how to assist them to get the necessary help timeously. She will also share important suicide prevention resources with you on this episode.
October 27, 2021
S1: Episode 8 - Gender Based Violence: Prevention and Support
This is the 8th podcast episode in the Student Counselling Unit's Mental Health and Wellbeing podcast series. In this episode we will unpack an extremely important topic, namely Gender Based Violence. We will explore some of the following questions, (1) what constitutes GBV? (2) How should we speak about and raise awareness about GBV? (3) What are some of the possible reasons for the high rates of GBV in South Africa? (4) How can we assist a friend or family member who may be a victim of GBV? (5) What supportive services regarding GBV are available to our University of Pretoria (UP) students? The expert speaker for this episode is my colleague, Mr Sikander Kalla, a Clinical Psychologist who has a strong compassion for mental health advocacy and awareness particularly with regard to unpacking topics such as masculinity, gender based violence and navigating through identity. He currently works at our Student Counselling Unit at UP assisting students at the Medical campus, he is in private practice in Johannesburg and he also assists community members at the Folateng clinic.
September 03, 2021
S1: Episode 7 - Thinking Traps - unhelpful thinking patterns & how to change them
This episode is on “thinking traps” and has been inspired by Aron Beck’s cognitive model, which explains that at times our thoughts can become distorted and influence our view of ourselves, others, the world and the future. Everyone experiences thinking traps to some degree. As such, our students may also unknowingly experience thinking traps which may negatively impact their academic performance, social interactions and mental health.  During the course of this podcast episode we will share with you how thinking traps are defined, we will explore the different types of thinking traps, discussing the possible consequences of certain thinking traps and most importantly we will provide practical skills and techniques that one can use to start modifying his/her thinking patterns for the benefit of their mental health and well-being. Our expert speaker for this episode is Dr Linda Eskell-Blokland, the current Acting Head of the Student Counselling Unit (SCU) at the University of Pretoria. She is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in treating psychological and psychiatric disorders with cognitive behaviour therapy and a systemic approach. She has taken a keen interest and involvement with community mental health and providing disadvantaged communities with relevant mental health services. 
June 30, 2021
S1: Episode 6 - Understanding Anxiety
This is our 6th podcast episode. For this episode, we will unpack what anxiety is, what are common symptoms of anxiety, what can contribute to anxiety and how anxiety is treated.  Practical tips and advice on how to manage anxiety will also be explored. Our expert speaker for this episode is Mr Quintin Ludick, a registered Clinical Psychologist with 11 years experience who works at the Student Counselling Unit at UP. He has worked in both public and private settings and he has a special interest in assisting people with trauma, depression, anxiety and addiction. Having to live with an anxiety disorder himself, he agreed to do this podcast episode to send a message of hope to listeners that anxiety does not have to rule your life!
June 02, 2021
S1: Episode 5 - Self-compassion and mental health
This podcast episode is on “Self-Compassion: the Ultimate Health Guide. The inner voice as the supportive friend”. Research shows that self-compassion can lower levels of anxiety and depression. People who are self-compassionate tend to recognize their suffering and are kinder to themselves at these times, which can reduce anxiety and related depressive symptoms. Other benefits of self-compassion include an increase in motivation, happiness, improvement in body image, enhanced self-worth and greater levels of resilience. Furthermore, it is emphasized that self-compassion is a healthier alternative than self-esteem, as it fosters a type of self-worth that doesn’t require people to evaluate themselves based on social comparisons. For this podcast episode, we will explore some of the following: what self-compassion is, common self-compassion skills, how self-compassion can help us with our mental health and how we can practically implement self-compassion in our daily lives. Our expert speaker for this podcast episode is Mr Mark Joseph. He first started to practice mindfulness 20 years ago in order to cope with panic and anxiety. Mark travelled to the east to study mindfulness and consulted various masters on the subject including the Dalai Lama. He also lived at a Buddhist temple for 3 years to further his studies and meditation practice.  He thereafter returned to mainstream society to pursue a career in advertising, film and photography. He was the managing director of his own agency for 5 years before joining Mindful Revolution 3 years ago.
April 28, 2021
S1: Episode 4 - Creating and maintaining a routine with Online Learning
This podcast episode aims to provide valuable information on how our university students can create and maintain a workable routine with Online Learning. What to include in one's routine, productivity, motivation, boundaries, communication and self care are some of the important aspects which will be explored in this episode. Ms Alexandra Norton, a Counselling Psychologist from the SCU who has a passion for working with university students is the expert speaker for this podcast episode.
March 30, 2021
S1: Episode 3 - Understanding Depression
For this podcast episode, the aim is to share valuable information about depression with our UP students. Clinical Psychologist, Dr Hanlé Kirkcaldy is our expert speaker for this episode. This podcast episode will focus on the following:  what is depression,  what are common symptoms of depression,  which professionals can help with screening for depression, the prevalence of depression,  what can cause or contribute to depression,  treatment of depression,  self help tips/advice on how to better manage depression (once you have already accessed formal mental health services), how to assist a friend or family member with depression.
March 04, 2021
S1: Episode 2 - Enhancing Relational Well-being
This episode explores relational well-being, focusing on what it is, why it's important and how our UP students can enhance their relational. Our expert speaker for this episode is Ms Ronel du Toit, a Counselling Psychologist from the Student Counselling Unit at the University of Pretoria with a special interest in interpersonal relationships and published author of the book titled "Relationships under pressure".
November 30, 2020
SEASON 1: Episode 1 - Building Resilience
This is the very first podcast episode in the Mental Health & Well-being Podcast Series especially designed for our UP students proudly brought to you by the Student Counselling Unit (SCU) at UP. The topic for this episode is Resilience and our expert speaker is Prof Linda Theron, an esteemed and leading researcher/practitioner in the field of child and youth resilience. Listen further if you would like to learn about how you can develop or enhance your resilience.
November 02, 2020