Editorial | The things we donít talk about

Editorial | The things we donít talk about

Mel Ansell’s feature “Health Science: A Trial by Fire” is an expose on the pressure put on first year health-sci students and the effects the course can have on their mental health.

The course needs to be difficult to make sure only the toughest, smartest people get through, but is the intense pressure the best way to find them? Is it worth it to jeopardise their mental health? On the other hand, if you are going to be a doctor, you will frequently be responsible for life-and-death situations, which must be more stressful and demanding than studying. But are we creating doctors who have learned to ignore warning signs from their over-worked bodies and brains? Is that dangerous too?

On top of all this, many students feel pressure from their families to get in to certain courses, and put massive pressure on themselves to perform at a standard that may not be sustainable, forcing themselves to work beyond their healthy physical and emotional limits.

What does it all mean? What should we do? Yikes, I dunno. But we do need to remember that the people around us might not be ok, and to be there if they need to talk to you. Keep an eye on people in your hall and flat who might be struggling with something.

This year is the first time there has been any training for RAs in dealing with college residents who have mental health issues. Two colleges have piloted one afternoon’s training with Youthline Otago this year. If this is something you think you should have in your college, write to your head of college and let them know how you feel.

Loneliness is a difficult thing to admit to, but it’s incredibly common, especially if you have just moved here. There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help from the people around you.

On a lighter note, Critic’s weekly date column gives a rare insight into what strangers think of each other. Kudos to the people who put themselves out there to be analysed by an outsider. They can be brutal to print, but we don’t get many chances to hear what people really think of us. I know it’s the only column most of you read, but if you haven’t seen it, check it out.

We also have a feature by Chelle Fitzgerald, who has interviewed people willing to talk about their sexual fetishes and kinks openly. So much of what goes on in our private lives is never discussed and we’re left feeling isolated, even in this hyper-connected era.

Lucy Hunter
Critic Editor

This article first appeared in Issue 14, 2017.
Posted 10:29am Sunday 9th July 2017 by Lucy Hunter.