Live Sharing Session with IO UNPAR: Maintaining Mental Health while Coping with the Spread of Covid-19 Outbreak

Everyone is affected by the spread of the Corona Virus (Covid-19) outbreak. With the number of infected cases increasing in Indonesia, social distancing becomes necessary. While implementing what is required to slow down the spread of the virus, we still need to deal with other aspects in our daily life. Believing that the wellbeing of its academic community, including foreign students, is important, Parahyangan Catholic University (UNPAR), through the Office for International Affairs and Cooperation (IO), conducted an online sharing session under the topic of “Maintaining Mental Health while Coping with the Spread of Covid-19 Outbreak”, on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 from 10:00 am – 12.00 pm.

IO UNPAR invited Maria T. Puspaningsing, M.Psi., Counsellor and Psychologist at Lembaga Pengembangan Humaniora UNPAR as the speaker to share some basic tips in coping with the condition caused by the pandemy. There were around 20 UNPAR international students, mostly from Kemitraan Negara Berkembang (KNB) Program that joined this event.

Maria stated that Covid-19 is definitely not a psychological disease. But unfortunately, it might affect our psychological health.

“To keep in mind, it is not the virus that affected our mental health. It is the situation caused by the spread of the virus that affected our mental health,” she said.

She suggested taking care of our body and mind and trying to stay connected with others (for example through social media), and also asking for help if we need it.

Students were actively involved in the Q&A sessions. Many of them asked for suggestions on how to reduce anxiety during the outbreak and what kinds of positive and productive activities that might be recommended to-do while studying at home.

This live sharing session is intended as a forum for the international students to support each other and remind each other to stay healthy, safe, and be positive.