Over the last few years, we have had a very present concern to understand what is going on inside the head of a student under a huge pressure. We have already talked with them about one of the greatest occasions of their lives, the National Seriation Exam. But, how many more moments do these young people experience without often asking for active help in the face of their anxieties? And will they know how to identify their own thoughts or behaviours in the face of pressure or sadness? In these successive questions, which can apply to any of us, we have come to understand the exact concept of burnout. But more than that, we understand that in the face of the courageous ability to assume that we are vulnerable, we can then begin to generate our own change.
This month, when exams absorb all the routine of our students, we went to listen to the other side, the lecturers and those who follow them closely. A central figure in January, we made an in-depth trip with António Barbosa, Professor and doctor in Psychiatry, but we also took the opportunity to talk with him about the mental mechanisms that attack or retract a person in a burnout situation and what these conditions represent. In a conversation enriched from another angle, we sat down at Espaço S, part of the FMUL’s Student Support Office and we also talked with Psychologist Rui Martins.
Like an open wound that no one sees, where do we fit mental illnesses and what barrier in the other's behaviour can we perceive as normal? Lurdes Barata goes through history and gives us a guided tour of the brain and the procedures of mental illnesses.
We talked with David Barreira, who very recently completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences with distinction and praise by unanimous vote, and a free professor at the Faculty of Medicine. Involved in several projects related to the burnout topic, his intervention helped us to understand especially how these symptoms stand in the Portuguese medical community.
With a very attentive focus on those who already show clear traces of sadness and exhaustion, another curious question then arises. How many people have already experienced moments of rupture and apathy and how many have not identified these characteristics and not found anyone to talk to? We are all on this side when we don't want to be exposed. Meet the security woman, Inácia, who doesn't mind telling us about her vulnerability.
How vulnerable would you be if suddenly an alarm in your workplace prompted you to run away? It happened, it is true. But it is also true that it was only a fire drill. Get ready for the drill and for when it gets real.
No less serious is the topic that aroused the curiosity of dozens of spectators. Can cannabinoids be medicines? Professor Mário Miguel Rosa, Professor in Clinical Pharmacology and Neurology, explained everything in another session of the FMUL talks.
They do not research the power of any type of substance in the nervous system of patients, but beating cancer is an idea that inspires them a lot. Francisco Alexandrino and Guilherme Vilhais are two winners of the GAPIC David-Ferreira Award who, in an interview with Isabel Varela, show that they are two of the science great curious and nonconformists. For us, they are already two great promises.
They are not promises one makes for the future that has already started on the 1st of January, but commitments and goals one aspires to, hoping that each team will do its best to always go a little further each year. We are talking about the Activities Plan for 2020, explained in brief moments by our Director of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Fausto J. Pinto.
A regular initiative of the University of Lisbon, the 18 Faculties joined the Rector’s Office to showcase several of their academic offers to high school students. Far from being tired or on the verge of exhaustion, it is the purest adrenaline that takes them to Discover Ulisboa.
With more or less fear of exposing yourself, never forget that we are all vulnerable and it is by assuming this vulnerability that we go further.
It is these and other topics that we embrace at your suggestion, so keep writing and talking about your ideas.
Thank you for staying here with us!