During the summer vacation of 2021, a group of volunteers from Tianjin University’s Mental Health and Counseling Center have been committed to offering counseling services to students in need, bringing warmth to the whole campus.
Summer vacation is a key period for scientific research and examination preparation for many students, thus psychological problems frequently occur in this period. In order to help those students during the summer, the Mental Health and Counseling Center has organized an experienced team to provide psychological services.
Zhao Hongxiang, a faculty from the Center said that in addition to over 30 full-time and part-time psychological consultants, this team has more than 10 student volunteers. Thanks to this team, when the students who are under academic pressure want to seek psychological help in summer time, they have someone to turn to in the first place.
24-year-old Chen Jingyi, a master student of Applied Psychology, has joined this team since she was admitted. She is responsible for communication and coordination work. She spent most of this summer vacation at school. Besides the library and study rooms, her favorite place was the Mental Health and Counseling Center.
Chen’s partner is Li Yixin who joined the volunteer team in her freshman year, and has now grown to be one of the most reliable members in the team. “My major is education but I am also interested in psychology, so I hope to do my part to help students in trouble.” said Li.
Li Yixin (the left) and Chen Jingyi (the right) work in the Mental Health and Counseling Center.
Chen and Li are responsible for receiving students who have appointments, which is the first step before psychological counseling. The volunteers, patient and attentive, would enquire about personal wills and needs, match suitable consultants, and arrange counseling time and ways for students. “We are the bridge between the students and the psychological consultants.” said Li.
Li is preparing for the postgraduate entrance examination this vacation, so she can exactly feel the same way as those anxious peers do. “It is obvious that counseling helps students a lot in fighting off their previous negative emotions and turning relaxed. It seems that the door of the counseling room has magic power,” Li said with a smile, “It is balm to me every day to witness ‘miracles’ here. I have not only further understood the meaning of psychology, but also strengthened my determination to get a master degree in psychology.”
In addition to psychological services for students on campus, this team has immediately opened a free psychological counseling hotline this summer for those seeking help in areas plagued by floods, such as Henan province.
A volunteer makes an appointment for the help seeker.
“Although the volunteers are young, many of them have participated in the team’s psychological voluntary service early in the pandemic, and have accumulated some experience. They are enthusiastic and conscientious about work, and can immediately deal with the team’s tasks and the matters that need feedback. We feel the vitality of the youth, and are also pleased to have such a group of young people who aspire to engage in psychology around.” said Tan Tingting, another teacher from the university’s Mental Health and Counseling Center.
Learning and doing voluntary work during summer vacations is a significant experience to these volunteers. “With the training and help from the teachers in the team, I have learned a lot about psychology and made a lot of friends of like minds.” Chen said that every time the team helped students address their psychological problems, it gave her a sense of achievement and made clearer her future professional goal.
“Mental health is an important part of well-being and needs the concerted efforts of the whole society. In the future, I hope to become a psychological consultant to help people get out of trouble.” said Chen.
By Zhang Huiting
Editor: Eva Yin