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Education Department Starts Helpline for Students Facing Mental Distress


Gurugram, India, Jan 10, 2021 -- In an initiative aimed at increasing awareness about mental health issues among college students, the state higher education department has started a distress call centre for psychological aid and support of college students going through emotional stress.

Launched last week, the goal of the call centre is to help improve the mental well-being and resilience of students facing mental stress.

In a letter shared with principals of all government colleges last Friday, the department of higher education said that students could avail assistance by calling on the round-the-clock, toll-free helpline number +917419864999 for psychological aid and intervention under the Nayi Disha (new direction) initiative. Officials said that the helpline would allow students to receive professional psychological and emotional support from a team of 35 trained psychologists.

Mohd Rafique, principal, Government College for Girls, Sector 52, said that the initiative would help students battling mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. "During the pandemic, mental health issues among people of all ages including students have gone up. Due to restricted social interaction, students are struggling with loneliness and other concerns. To help such students, the department has formed a panel of psychologists who can give professional help to students," said Rafique. He said that since the facility was free of cost, students would be less hesitant in availing help.

"While classes are taking place both online and offline, college life has been impacted. All students may not get the chance to share their concerns with their friends or family. In such a situation, taking help from professionals can be beneficial for students," said Rafique.

Virender Singh Antil, principal of Dronacharya Government College, said that the centre was aimed at spreading awareness and reducing stigma around mental health issues among students. He said that while there had been counselling support in the past, this time, the department had formed a team of professionals. "Mental health issues are quite prevalent among students these days. The lockdown and pandemic restrictions have also aggravated the stress faced by students. Under this initiative, students can reach out to experts for intervention. They can book an appointment and share their concerns with the team," said Antil.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com

Date Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2021

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