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"Counselling helped me regain confidence for my studies."

Where she was before…

Jane (*not her real name) is a 16-year-old girl, studying in a local secondary school. She stays with her grandfather and single mother who works long hours. Jane is very close to her mother and helps to look after her grandfather. She used to attend school regularly and had no disciplinary issues.
Turning point…
Things took a turn when Jane was in Secondary Three. She was placed in a new class and had to make new friends. In school, Jane does not have many close friends. She used to be in basketball team but stopped because her mother thought it was a strain on their finances.

Having difficulty coping with the transitions and school work, she started to spend more time on computer games to escape from her problems. Because of the long hours of gaming, Jane has difficulty in waking up for school. Even though her mother would wake her up, she would often go back to sleep. Even when she wakes up, she would often take a bus to a LAN shop instead.

This was when Jane started to be absent from school. Initially, she was absent once or twice a month. This escalated to thrice a week after the June school holidays, and eventually Jane stopped going to school for almost 3 weeks.

Her mother did not know about this as Jane would get money from her grandfather to go to the LAN shops. Her frequent absence from school alerted her concerned teachers to call her mother. Jane's mother had difficulty getting her to change as she is busy with work. Frustrated at her daughter's behavior, she would nag at her.

Not wanting to let her mother down, Jane tried to go back to school. But she felt helpless with her countless failed attempts. Nothing seems to interest her anymore except gaming.

On weekdays, Jane used to spend her time at the LAN shop from 10 am to 4pm. During the weekends, she would play from 10am to 6pm. Her favourite games were Maple Story and Audition. She enjoyed the company of her friends at the LAN shop and her online friends in 'game guilds' or 'fam'. She felt a sense of belonging as she knows everyone there. She enjoyed chatting, trading virtual items and doing game quests together with her Maple Story guild members.
Where she is today…
Jane was referred to TOUCH Cyber Wellness for counselling by her school. At TOUCH, her counsellor, Waimun, helped her change the negative mindset she had - She didn't want to face her problems at school and felt that she has let her family and teachers down.

Wai Mun encouraged her and taught her to plan and process her daily schedules and goals. TOUCH also had volunteers to help her with her studies and gave her a positive social support.

Jane was very willing to change. With help of the TOUCH Cyber Wellness community and her good attitude towards change despite difficulties, Jane got out of her gaming habits in three months. Jane is now studying Media Design at a tertiary institution. She is enjoying her studies now and spends more time going out with her friends in school than playing computer games.

"My counsellor, Wai Mun, helped me regain my confidence for my studies. I am more hopeful now for my future. It helped me keep a positive mindset and set goals for life." - Jane, 16

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