"Student Health and Well-being" in the First Place
The Psychology study program at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) is one of the first programs at IUS that took an active part in implementing the strategic sustainable development goals (SDG) at the University.
Namely, a team of respectable professors of psychology, led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Orkun Aydin, in an enthusiastic and dedicated way, devoted themselves to the topic of sustainable development goals and have offered IUS students practical guidelines and examples, to the aim of encouraging students to further social action, both in private and in the future professional environment.
In addition to providing students with basic knowledge of psychology complemented by various types of practice, the program took an extra mile by incorporating the principles of sustainable development goals into its regular curriculum, as well as into activities and practices at the IUS Student Psychological Counseling Center (SPCC). The goal of introducing this approach to teaching is to follow modern scientific patterns, which integrate the ratio of theory and practice in an interesting and accessible way for students.
Currently, SDG related content is a part of the curriculum of three courses: Psychotherapy and Counseling (PSY336), Clinical Psychology (PSY312) and Child Psychopathology (PSY409). In addition, SDG implementation is in process in the following courses: Health Psychology (PSY210), Adolescent Psychology (PSY215), Positive Psychology (PSY406), Psychology of Religion (PSY421), and Psychology of Adulthood and Aging (PSY414).
The IUS Student Psychological Counseling Center (SPCC) provides a range of psychological and counseling services to meet the mental health and developmental needs of IUS students. Both emotional, interpersonal, social and career development. Each academic semester is complemented by workshops held at the Center, where the perspectives of students' current dilemmas are presented, and psychoeducation on various topics is provided.
Also, the Center has been working successfully for years and tries to intervene in cases of various difficulties among IUS students: concentration problems or lack of motivation to study, exam anxiety and stress, time management, adapting to a new environment and dealing with cultural diversity, problems in communication with family members and/or friends, feelings of loneliness, self-esteem issues, identity crises, dysfunctional habits, substance abuse and more.
"By introducing this type of practice, we strive to ensure a healthy life and responsibly promote well-being, as well as to ensure the possibilities of inclusive and quality education, referring to the sustainable development goals, no 3. - Health and well-being and no 4. - Quality education. Health and well-being of our students is our priority, in the first place", stressed the Psychology program Coordinator, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Orkun Aydin. "I would like to point out that IUS is the first university in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a service for students of this kind. The Counseling Center is organized in accordance with the ethical principles and standards of professional psychological counseling, with a focus on guaranteeing confidentiality and discretion," said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aydin.
According to United Nations SDG reports, one fifth of young people are not in education, employment or training. In order to create conditions that enable students to find a quality job, the Psychology program also ensured the active engagement of psychology students in the Center's research activities. Research is carried out through workshops and practices; applied experiences that offer students essential skills in psychological assessment, treatment, and intervention in national, international, and multicultural contexts. In this way, they want to contribute to more functional and decent work, with reference to the implementation of sustainable development goal no. 8 - Decent work and economic growth.
And finally, the Center contributes to the development of sustainable goal number 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, ensuring access to justice for all, because through the work of the Center, it tries to create an efficient, responsible and inclusive university at all levels.