To help students easily access mechanisms that can assist in dealing with stress, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has introduced an online emotional wellness platform called ‘YourDOST’.
It aims to increase awareness regarding mental wellness and break the prevalent social stigma attached to seeking psychological help on campus.
The mechanism has been introduced in the hope that a larger number of students would be more comfortable on an online forum when compared to the existing face-to-face system.
The anonymous forum functions similar to a chatroom where students with a user ID and password can log onto a counselling session.
These sessions are usually a one-on-one with a professional at the other end. The institute has roped in a number of experts including psychologists, life coaches and career coaches.
General secretary of the student body, Purab Jain says that there is a lot of stigma attached to counselling.
On the other hand, the institute is also strengthening its peer support network.
The guidance and counselling team IIT-M called ‘Mitr’ has now been split into two wings -proactive guidance and reactive guidance.
‘Saathi’ the proactive wing of the campus involves around 250 student mentors involved in creating awareness and sensitizing students about overall well-being.
It will also manage platforms to support enhancement of skills for personal and professional growth.