Monday, August 12, 2019

Calm Harm Stops Self Harm

The Calm Harm app is an iOS and Android app developed by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr. Nihara Krause. Using principles derived from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), the app teaches impulse control, emotional regulation and tracking of underlying triggers so that users can be more equipped to overcome the urge to self-harm.

Who the App is for?

If you are a student with mental health difficulties and you sometimes feel the urge to self harm then this app might be able to help. The app is designed specifically for young adults who are looking to be free of the physical and emotional pain of self-harm. 

How Calm Harm Works?

According to DBT, the urge to self-harm is like a wave that is most powerful at the outset and diminishes as the person resists it.

The app aims to help users to ‘surf the wave’ of self-harm, through a choice of several activities. The activities are in the following categories:

  1. Distract – The user can select a range of activities to distract themselves
  2. Comfort – The user can select from activities that provide comfort in times of distress 
  3. Express – The user gets to express themselves in several ways to relieve their feelings
  4. Release – The user provides several ways of releasing tension that they can use instead of self-harm

Self-harm can be an uncontrollable urge that is driven by a wide range of reasons specific to the individual. The app recognises the individual complexity in the nature of self-harm and provides a range of activities to suit different needs. 

Since what may work at one time may not work the next time, there are many activities to try out depending on the personality of the individual. The different activities are also categorised so that it’s easy to decide which one to use depending on the intensity of emotions being felt. The app works on an incremental strengthening of the users will.

Calm Harm also comes with additional features that include a list of resources, including country-specific hotlines and websites to gain access to material related to psychological health and social support to deal with family problems, self-harm, and associated issues. Users can also get to personalise their activities, keep a personal log, and maintain a personal emergency contact list. The list may include important people to call such as adults or friend that can offer support when they need it. 

With its multiple methods to release anger, to calm and to distract combined with the many resources the app offers, it provides a powerful toolbox to deal with the wave of self-harm when it arises. 

Where To Download

The App is available for free on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

All the best,

A2B Assessments

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Specsavers Are Offering Free Eye Tests

You only get one pair of eyes, so it’s essential that you take good care of them. Huge eye-care brand Specsavers are offering free eye tests if you go to the branch on or before August 31st 2019. If you have been feeling like you have been straining your eyes lately or you just want to check everything is A-OK like it should be, this is a great opportunity.  

As a student, you might not feel you have the extra money to throw at this kind of thing, and now you don’t have to. If during the eye test they discover your vision is not so good, then you can begin the process to improve your vision either in the form of glasses or contact lenses. 

So how does the free eye test actually work? Start by entering your postcode on the Specsavers website and find the nearest store to you that offers this deal. Select a store, print a voucher and then book your appointment. During your appointment, show that voucher for everything to be completely free of charge. Don’t have a printer? That’s fine, you can simply show the voucher on your phone or tablet. 

An eye test does not take long to do and it should be pretty easy to fit into your day-to-day life. It’s definitely worth it. You don’t have long left to secure your slot so if you’re interested do it ASAP.

Visit Specsavers

All the best, A2B

The post Specsavers Are Offering Free Eye Tests appeared first on A2B Assessments DSA Needs Assessment Centre.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Adjusting To Life After University

Adjusting to life after university can be an exhilarating experience. There is a feeling of immense pride that after years of skipped meals, all-nighters and serious stress over exams you have finally attained your objective and graduated. You feel great for about three weeks and then things start to change. You get a pervasive feeling of loss and a heightened sense of uncertainty as you no longer have the familiar schedules and routines that you had as a student. University does provide a cocoon of familiarity and community with mentors, teachers, and friends that provide advice and support. It is not uncommon for students to become anxious and even depressed after graduation. However, you do not have to feel lost after graduation, follow these tips to ease the transition from student university life to adult professional life.

Make New Friends

Not being with friends that you have spent years with can be one of the most difficult things to cope with after graduation. You need to be creative in keeping in touch with your uni friends, if you’re all in different cities try and get a WhatsApp group together and make the effort to meet up when you can. 

What will help you, even more, is creating new friends in your professional circles. While making friends is not so easy as compared to when you were in college and university, it can still be done. You can start with your colleagues and you will be surprised at how many close friends you can make. You can also make new friends while engaging in social activities such as sports clubs and the gym. 

Be Patient

One of the biggest disappointments you may experience may be having to adjust to a life or job that is not aligned to your passions. After graduation, you may have to work in a job that you have no passion for and live below your expectations. As an adult with new responsibilities, you may have to take whatever is offered and be patient to build on that. Job offers are typically few and far between and hence even if you have to take boring jobs, you have to be patient. Use these opportunities as a stepping stone for bigger things more aligned with your expectations or passion.

Set New Goals

In college, you may have gotten by doing all nighters a few days before exams and been able to get away with missing classes, but in real life, you will need to set new priorities. It is no longer about passing exams that are a few weeks away but more about adult responsibilities. You need to set new goals such as paying off your loans and saving money. To regain the sense of striving towards something and achievement, you should set a goal such as going back to school for postgraduate studies or saving enough for a deposit on a house or apartment. Having goals will give you a sense of purpose and increase your drive making you adjust faster to adult life. 

Turn Uncertainty Into Opportunity

Decide to be positive about the challenges you encounter in your professional and social life. Acknowledge that turmoil is natural and is likely happening to most of your friends too. As such, you should take any challenges as opportunities to build yourself towards professional and personal excellence. For instance, if you are having problems grasping complex concepts at work, do not take it negatively but as a learning opportunity. Seek out mentors and more experienced colleagues to help you with the challenge and learn a new skill in the process. If you have been rejected by a hiring manager when you thought the job was in the bag, call the company and ask for feedback on how you could improve in the future.

Accept Your Changing Identity

Your identity has been tied to your education for most of your life. As an adult professional you need to acknowledge that this is changing fast and your professional life is becoming more important. While it may be an uncertain time as you try to find yourself, acknowledging your changing identity and embracing it will help reduce anxiety and go a long way to help you adapt to changing circumstances. Be reasonable with your expectations such as what job you can get and how fast you can move up the ladder. You can get a good job right from the start but the important thing is to not get disappointed or frustrated when you start spinning wheels.

Conclusion

Adjusting to life after university can be a daunting and frustrating experience. However, it does not have to be, given that a lot of people that went before you had the same experience and came out just fine. By being patient, adopting new habits and acknowledging your new and changing identities and circumstances, you can come out of the experience stronger. By following the tips in this article you can enter into responsible adulthood and achieve a lot in your professional life.

All the best,

A2B Assessments.


The post Adjusting To Life After University appeared first on A2B Assessments DSA Needs Assessment Centre.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Your Landlord

It’s that time of year where students are moving from student halls to houses and while many landlords are good people, there are some who take advantage of the relative inexperience of students. There are tons of horror stories of landlords ignoring damp ceilings and peeling paint while charging an arm and a leg for a shoebox-sized room. So what can you do to avoid the money grabbing, dodgy and unscrupulous landlords? The following tips will show you how to avoid getting ripped off by your landlord;

1. Keep Records Of Everything

No matter how much you love and trust your landlord, you need to document every transaction and correspondence. If you ever discuss anything in relation to your contract, whether it is in person or over the phone, insist on a written record or email them so that you have a record of it. You also need to keep the receipts of all payments you make to the landlord in the form of rent or repairs to the property. This way, if you agree that the landlord has to repair the broken toilet or that you will repair it and you can deduct it from the rent, he cannot dispute the agreement.

2. Rent From A University Approved Landlord

Some universities will have a list of preferred and approved landlords in the locality. Check the list to find some good landlords who are less likely to give you problems with your tenancy. If you cannot get somewhere from the list of approved landlords, find accreditation schemes or websites that review student residences. Most of these will have reviews that can tell you a lot about a potential landlord.

Unipol is a good example of a student housing site which has landlord reviews.

3. Insist On A Deposit Protection Scheme

The law requires that every landlord puts your deposit in a scheme such as Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits or Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The money has to be deposited with one of the services within 14 days or you can take the landlord to court. Having your deposit in a scheme means that in case of a dispute when you are moving out of the house, your money will be protected by a neutral party until you resolve the dispute with the landlord. The scheme will usually be involved in resolving the dispute and will listen to the facts and look at the evidence from both parties before making a decision.

4. Have Repairs And Maintenance Written Into The Contract

You hear stories of students who had to deal with ceilings hanging dangerously low, leaking roofs, and mouldy walls. Such properties can be very dangerous and could lead to injury and illness if the landlord refuses to fix them up. To protect yourself from uncaring landlords that do not maintain the property, get everything in writing such that you can have legal recourse. It is also critical to have it written into the contract who will be responsible for minor and major repairs. Some aspects to consider include if the landlord asks you to do repairs, how will the cost be recouped? Will it be in the form of reduced rent or will the landlord reimburse you?

5. Take Photographs Of Everything

There are crooked landlords who will give you an inventory that may not necessarily be true. They may leave out some truths such as broken fittings, cracked windows and chipped paint, and then try to charge you when the lease is over. To prevent being ripped off by such landlords, take photographs of every inch of the apartment before signing the agreement. Take photographs and rectify any discrepancies in the inventory by indicating all damage. Ensure that the landlord has copies of all the photographs by sending them to their email so that you have evidence when you are moving out.

6. Read the Contract And Understand Everything Thoroughly Before Signing

We typically just breeze through the terms and conditions of say a mobile phone contract and accept everything without really reading in too much detail. However, you cannot afford to do this with student housing contracts. Crooked landlords will hide small things in the contract and if you are not careful, you may find yourself charged for the most ridiculous things when your lease is up. Check for unfair clauses such as statements that say the landlord can amend the lease at any time or that you may have to pay for structural repairs. If you find such clauses in the contract, ask for clarification but if you can ask for them to be removed or look for a different property all together.

7. Do Not Accept Anything Less Than What You Paid For

Never let the landlord have any excuses for why the property is not in good condition. When you are moving in, the property needs to be in the expected condition. Never accept a shoddy apartment with broken fittings or bad paint. If the landlord does not agree to fix up the house, ask for your rent and deposit back.

Conclusion

Students are sometimes not necessarily the best tenants but a lot of landlords take advantage of them because of their inexperience. If you follow the tips in this article you can significantly reduce the odds of getting ripped off and get to enjoy your student housing.

A2B Assessments

The post How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Your Landlord appeared first on A2B Assessments DSA Needs Assessment Centre.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Video Blog #4 – What Is Dyslexia? – An Overview

In this video blog we will be giving a brief overview of Dyslexia.

To read about Dyslexia in further detail, check out or full What Is Dyslexia? blog post.

Home

The post Video Blog #4 – What Is Dyslexia? – An Overview appeared first on A2B Assessments DSA Needs Assessment Centre.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Forest App: Liberate Yourself From Your Smartphone

Welcome to another instalment of the A2B Blog. In this article, we’re going to cover everything that you need to know about the Forest smartphone app. Forest is a perfect example of an increasing variety of apps which help to alter your technology consuming habits.

What is the Forest app?

Forest could be classed as a smartphone game. However, unlike Candy Crush or Angry Birds, Forest is a game that you play by not using your phone. 

The aim of the game is to stay away from your phone for a set amount of time.  It earns the name Forest because it involves planting virtual trees. You plant your virtual tree and then set the time to any duration between 10 minutes and two hours. Your tree will then begin to grow and you need to stay away from your phone for the set amount of time for your tree to achieve full growth.

If you leave the app before the timer is done the tree will wither and die. 

If your tree grows fully then it will be added to your forest.

The more you use the app the bigger your virtual forest becomes and once you have grown so many virtual trees you can trade them in to plant actual trees in 5 African countries-Kenya, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, and Senegal.

Literally saving the planet just by spending time away from your phone.

Why is Forest necessary?

These days it is so easy to be distracted by smartphone apps such as Instagram or Facebook. In 2017 Android users spent on average 58 minutes per day on Facebook, 53 minutes per day on Instagram and 49.5 minutes on Snapchat. Checking these apps every few minutes has become compulsory for some.

Forest will train you to be away from your phone, giving you more time to focus on your studies. You will be able to give your friends your total attention instead of constantly checking on the push notifications and you can now read or revise with deeper focus without pausing to check what’s the latest on the social media.

The most important thing is that this app can change is your phone habits, allowing you to spend your valuable time doing things that matter.

Moreover, growing your virtual forest will assist you in planting trees for farmers who are in developing countries via the app’s sponsors. 

Pros

  • Increases your focus
  • Reduces distractions
  • You can plant actual trees and help save the planet

Where to get Forest

To download the app, go to either the Apple App store or Google Play store and search for Forest or follow these links –

App Store
Google Play Store

The post Forest App: Liberate Yourself From Your Smartphone appeared first on A2B Assessments DSA Needs Assessment Centre.