The Faculty of Health Sciences and Caritas Lifehope Hotline Hold Session on Mental Health





To mark this year’s Mental Health Day, USJ alumni from the Faculty of Health Sciences returns as Caritas Macau professionals to disseminate mental health and wellbeing practices for the USJ Community.

The World Mental Health Day, observed annually on October 10, mobilises efforts to support well-being and mental health around the world, working towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, namely SDG 3 “To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages”. This year’s theme is “Our minds, our rights” and it is an opportunity for people and communities to improve knowledge, raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect everyone’s mental health as a universal human right.

With the aim of promoting the well-being of students, staff and the wider community of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) and Caritas Macau LifeHope Hotline have organised a session on mental health at the Don Bosco Auditorium of the Ilha Verde campus, as part of “USJ Mental Health Day” on 10 October 2023.

USJ alumni Wilson Lei (Bachelor of Psychology graduate) and Blaire (Bachelor of Social Work graduate) were invited to present this session to participating students from the Bachelor of Psychology and Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy programmes, as well as FHS staff.

In his welcome speech, Prof. Vitor Teixeira, Head of the Department of Psychology (DPS), expressed his gratitude to both speakers and highlighted the importance of having USJ graduates from the two departments of the FHS being present as professionals in a partner organisation, such as Caritas Macau.

The first part of the session, included a review about stress and well-being including what stress is, how people cope with it, the negative aspects of life and the importance of being aware, observing (not denying or avoiding) and accepting certain situations, fighting inertia and acting. A key idea that was shared during this session was “when you have a relaxed body, the mind follows!”.

The second part, Wilson Lei guided the participants in a “Mindfulness Imagery Experience” following the script of a candle. This took around 20 minutes. At the end the participants reflected about their experiences and discussed the relevance of this kind of experience and how to include it in their lives. Other tips for relaxation like a breathing exercise were given. 

A booth was also placed outside the auditorium  for participants to “shoot eliminate” the main stressors of their lives.