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To deal with depression & Covid disruptions, a helpline for students | Gurgaon News


GURUGRAM: The higher education department has started a 24×7 helpline to provide help to students going through mental health issues like depression and anxiety. The toll-free helpline aims to provide psychological first-aid intervention to the students.
The dedicated distress helpline number — Nayi Disha — is meant for over 3.5 lakh students pursuing higher education in the state. During a virtual launch last week, the department officials noted that the government has decided to provide professional support to all the students who may be going through mental health issues due to the disruption caused in studies due to the Covid outbreak.
According to the officials, the call centre will have trained psychologists who will provide professional, psychological and emotional support to the students. These psychologists have been tasked to treat the calls as special therapy sessions. They will note the problems of students for better analysis and support. In severe cases, the psychologists will regularly track the aggrieved students to not only check on them but also to advise them to consult a medical professional, if required.
“The education system has been one of the major casualties of the pandemic. While we spent most of last year adapting to the challenges thrown by the changing social norms, the disruption caused was certainly stressful for all of us. Earlier, students would visit colleges, meet friends and interact with the teachers and counsellors. But now, with only a limited number of students allowed in college and not many parents ready to allow their wards to visit the campus, they are struggling with isolation. This centre will help those battling with some kind of mental health issues,” said a senior education department official.
Besides helping students, the distress call centre also aims to spread awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health among students and their families.
“Mental health is equally or more important than physical health. But the stereotypes built around it have made it a taboo to be discussed with anyone. Even the advice given is not only immature but also could be counterproductive. This helpline will also aim at spreading awareness and reduce the stigma attached to mental health problems like depression and anxiety,” the official added.
On the sides of launching Nayi Disha, the department has also launched a special programme to spread awareness regarding proper nutrition among girl students to reduce instances of Anaemia.
Termed as a nutrition knowledge programme, it aims to equip the students with the scientific knowledge of managing their diet, especially during menstruation, and maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI). These girls will be encouraged to spread awareness within their community to tackle the issue of Anemia. According to the NFHS-4, the highest percentage of school children suffering from anaemia was observed in Haryana (71 per cent).


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