Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), has introduced an online emotional wellness platform called YourDOST to assist students in dealing with stress. The motive behind this step is to increase awareness regarding mental wellness and break the social disgrace attached with seeking psychological help on campus.
It is hoped that the students would be more comfortable on an online forum as compared to the existing face-to-face system, said Purab Jain, General Secretary of the student body.
“Many aren’t comfortable saying they are taking up a counselling session. We already had a regular counselling mechanism where counsellors come to the campus. However, some students may feel uneasy about going to a counsellor’s room with other students watching. This is precisely why ‘YourDOST’ was launched,” he said.
About the online forum:
- The online forum functions similar to a chatroom where students with a user ID and password can access the counselling sessions.
- The institute has collaborated with a number of experts including psychologists, life coaches and career coaches who take up the one-on-one sessions with the students.
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IIT-M also strengthening peer support network:
- The institute has split its counselling team Mitr into two wings namely proactive and reactive guidance teams.
- The proactive guidance wing will now be called ‘Saathi’ and will now involve as many as 250 student mentors who will create awareness in the students about overall well-being.
- The wing will also support enhancement of skills for personal and professional growth of the students.
- The General Secretary said that each of the 250 mentors have about 5 mentees who are the first-year students as they are new to campus.
- “Mentors will help students in resolving issues or suggest professional help if required,” said Jain.
- Mitr is another wing which now deals with reactive mechanism where students help others deal with the aftermath of an issue or an incident.
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