The college responds to the growing concern of psychosocial problems with a series of Life Coaching seminar-workshops. Starting October 22, 2018, CAS together with Guidance Service Specialists (GSS) launched several morning and afternoon sessions (initially at the LITE Room) to train the faculty and staff of its constituent units.

As one of the speakers noted, mental health issues become more and more prevalent among UPLB students. The reported cases have also become more severe, according to registered guidance counselor and resource person Ordina Carlos. “Students’ well-being and mental health problems are sensitive issues,” Ms. Carlos added.

“We definitely need to refer students to seek professional help, for example, in cases accompanied by self-harm,” speaker Novee Mae S. Pabon, a registered psychologist, told the attendees that included the teachers who come face-to-face with students experiencing.

“But mostly, cases, there would be no need for referral of cases that we might be able to resolve, if examined closely,” Ms Pabon further said. “We have to know the limitations of what we can capably offer.”

Ms Carlos further discussed the common warning signs of mental health issues and how the faculty may respond or approach the students properly, without causing further harm. To identify and support student at risks, she mentioned, involved pinpointing the causes and indicators of these psychosocial problems.

Ms Ordina Carlos, a registered guidance counselor from the Office of Student Affairs, conducted the first Life Coaching seminar-workshop on October 22, 2018 at the CAS-LITE Room.

The Student Welfare and Discipline Committee chairs and members of each CAS unit have taken up the challenge to be better prepared in communicating to and helping students with psychosocial needs. There were also sessions held on November 5 and 12 at Gallery 1, CAS Building.

In the past months, other colleges such as Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology, Human Ecology, Veterinary Medicine, Forestry and Natural Resources, underwent the same workshop. The Counseling and Testing Division (CTD) of UPLB’s Student Affairs office conducts these training sessions.

In 2012, then head of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), Dr. Leticia Afuang, initiated a Faculty and Staff Relations Training facilitated by the GSS and other external speakers. Renamed as Life Coaching in 2016, the program has further emphasized the referral system as the GSS, working closely with OSA Director Dr. Nina Cadiz, observed an increasing number of mental health cases in 2017. ∎

— AMDC Alcachupas