IIT-Guwahati has decided to launch an online portal to counsel
students suffering from depression and stress. The portal will help such students to seek counselling from experts without disclosing their identities
GUWAHATI, June 1: The immense stress to perform well in studies has been resulting in an increasing number of cases of depression among students in different parts of the country, including Assam. The development has also resulted in numerous cases of suicide among students in different educational institutes, and the IITs are not an exception.
Taking steps towards preventing such unfortunate incidents, IIT-Guwahati has decided to launch an online portal to counsel students suffering from depression and stress. The portal will help such students to seek counseling from experts without disclosing their identities.
Saathi, a counseling centre of IIT-G set up in 2010, has already signed a memorandum of understanding with a Bangalore-based mental health support company for launching the portal. The portal, which is expected to be launched in August this year, will be part of the IIT-G’s advanced facilities for mental and emotional support to its students.
Even though students can now walk into Saathi from Monday to Friday or call the helpline number (8486814024) at any time, many students do not call up the centre or visit in person to avoid showing their face or exposing their voice. But the portal will help students to seek counselling by logging into it and sharing their problems online without disclosing their identities.
The Saathi counseling centre has so far helped 6,000-plus students suffering from depression and stress since its launch. New students who take admission into the IIT and come from different parts of the country are provided compulsory counselling. Most of the students who visit the centre seeking counseling complain of depression when their cumulative grade point average score is low or when they suffer from homesickness.
A similar portal for anonymous counselling of students has proved useful at IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IIT-Kharagpur.
IIT-Guwahati is also following its counterparts in other parts of the country which have taken measures to tackle depression among students by setting up creative centres for students to dance, sing, and play musical instruments or by organizing tree hugging sessions, along with certified counselling centres.