Psychological Counselling and Mental Health Awareness Programmes
- Organized by : Teachers of Dept. of Psychology
- Objectives of the Practice
The need for psychological counselling could not be overstated given our collective experience of a global pandemic and its brutal aftermath which severely threatened the education and mental health of the student community at large. However, the Department of Psychology has been holding periodic counselling sessions for students even before the pandemic with the aim to foster their mental well-being since they have to face challenges of educational institutions. Especially the students are prone to problems related to the various psycho-physiological changes in late adolescence that trigger off a whole range of social adjustment issues and identity-related crises. It is with a desire to redress these issues that counselling and awareness programmes related to mental health are regularly organized.
- The Context
The college being located in a fast-changing rural setting away from typical privileges of a metropolis the students often lack opportunity to discuss their various problems with professionally trained mental-health counsellors or clinical psychologists. Often the onset of anxiety, mood disorders, and other adjustment related issues are brushed aside in want of a proper hearing that would bring about a more cohesive engagement with their educational institution and society.
- The Practice
- The college has a dedicated psychological counselling cell for students, teachers and office staff in an effort to bring them together in an inclusive ethical practice of care. There is a separate counselling room where teachers of the Department of Psychology, who are also trained clinical psychologists organize both group and individual sessions. The sessions are conducted keeping the privacy of the counselee intact. All interactions are kept strictly confidential.
- The Department of Psychology also organizes regular awareness programmes on the various facets of mental disorders for students of schools and colleges. On 23-24 November, 2017 it organized ‘Choose Life: Awareness on Depression and Suicide’ in collaboration with Indian Association of Clinical Psychology (West Bengal) with eminent psychologists as speakers.
- It regularly organizes community outreach programme in collaboration with other departments on the necessity of self-care.
- During the pandemic it organized regular live streaming sessions on YouTube and G suite on various aspects of mental health care touching upon issues of psycho-social relevance like taboo and stigma. On 29.08.2020 it held a special session in collaboration with the Department of Sociology on the problems related to addiction and substance abuse.
- Evidence of Success
The success of these programmes is largely seen in students turning out in large numbers and also from the positive feedback shared by them. There is a noticeable improvement in the quality of class presence and attention in them.
- Problems Encountered and Resources Required
The problems encountered were largely because of the restrictions related to Covid lockdown and dearth of infrastructural and communicative means for students. Moreover the department of Psychology has to arrange all examinations, syllabi etc. related works from this college in the absence of any mother department in the affiliating University. The teachers feel severe administrative pressure to find time routinely for such counselling.