The changes in everyday life due to the Coronavirus outbreak may cause worry and anxiety. In this bulletin we have listed service providers and websites that can help you and give support in your worries caused by the situation. This chapter is updated regularly.
Tips to supporting mental well-being
- Avoid speculation and rumours that may cause more anxiety. Follow reliable sources of information.
- You can find up-to-date information for example on Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare.
- On the Instructions for Students Q&A page, you can find University’s instructions for studying during the coronavirus outbreak.
- It is also recommended that you check your email regularly.
- Follow the given recommendations about staying at home and hygiene advice. Remember to wash your hands and take care of hygiene, whether you feel ill or not.
- It’s recommended to keep the everyday routines similar to normal everyday life. It’s important to remember to keep a healthy diet, have enough exercise and rest. You can get help from the some services listed on this page.
- Try to manage how much you follow the media during this time. It is wise to stay informed but remember to balance the information flow as it may also cause more anxiety.
- Stay connected. In a time of stress it may be easier to work when you are in touch (also remotely) with your family or friends. You can also contact the professionals listed on this page.
How do we maintain our mental well-being in the midst of the exceptional circumstances brought about by the coronavirus outbreak?
We compiled the questions and answers submitted by University staff and students to the on-line event on resilience held on 2 April. Read them in the University's Flamma intranet.
Guidance corner's Well-being Tuesdays' events offer support for studies and student well-being. See the Well-being Tuesdays' instruction page.
Study psychologists offer support in challenges in studying distantly
In addition to worry and anxiety caused by the coronavirus outbreak, shifting to study distantly may prove to be challenging. You may face challenges in finding structure in your daily life, courses get cancelled or transferring of courses on-line does not go smoothly. You may also need to opt out from courses because of family situation for example. When you are able to find suitable solutions to studying distantly, it can help you to deal with this exceptional situation and possible anxiety by directing your thoughts into a meaningful action. It is worth to spend some time to look for means to support your distant learning.
The study psychologists have gathered some tips to help with distant learning in the Support for studies instruction page. You can also book a time for distant guidance. You can find a link for booking a counselling time at the Study psychologists instruction page. With study psychologists you can share your concerns and think of what kind of studying is possible for you during this time and how that can be done in practice.
University chaplains are here for you during the Coronavirus pandemic
You don’t have to be alone. When you as a member of the university community
- desire confidential conversation, pastoral counselling or prayer
- feel the need to reflect upon life’s big questions (e.g. the meaning of life, hope and hopelessness, loneliness, insecurity)
- are isolated and need help
Please contact University chaplains. The chaplains are there for all members of the university community regardless of their faith and convictions. Contact information:
- Viikki and Kumpula: Laura “Late” Mäntylä, firstname.lastname@example.org, 050 5919874, Messenger, WhatsApp, IG: lauralatemantyla, Telegram: t.me/YliopistopappiLate
- City centre and Meilahti: Leena Huovinen, email@example.com, 050 3019613, Messenger, IG: leenahuovinen
- Swedish speaking university members: Andreas Lundgren, firstname.lastname@example.org, 050 3800662, IG: studentprästen
Join the new communal online platform Discord
The University of Helsinki's Student Union has set up a communal platform on Discord. You can find peer support on various themes there. You can log in to the platform from this invitation link.
Other service providers supporting mental well-being
Mindfulness and relieving stress
Mindfulness is being fully present, being aware of where we are and what we are doing by not judging any thoughts, feelings or anything else. It’s paying attention purposefully to a certain stimulus in a way that you don’t have to react to it. Mindfulness is being not too overwhelmed or reactive by what is happening around us. On times like this, it’s good to have a moment to calm down and be aware of the moment the way it is.
According to research, practicing mindfulness is a way to effect on your well-being. It can help control stress and anxiety when practiced regularly, preferably 10 minutes a day for a month. So if you don’t feel any changes after a few mindfulness exercises, don’t worry. Just keep practicing, and your stress might be relieved.
Nyyti ry has compiled a couple of good mindfulness exercises, which you can find on Spotify:
Keep physically active!
- Every student and staff member is able to download the Break Pro break exercise program to help and motivate taking breaks from work and sitting at the desk. The Break Pro program is free of charge. Exercises can be done wherever, even in a small space. Read more on the Unisport pages on the Instructions for students!