The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the importance of mental health and well-being to the fore like never before. People cutting across age groups and economic strata have reported a slew of mental health problems in recent months.
Mitr, the College of Engineering Pune (CoEP)’s centre for wellness, has played a pivotal role in guiding undergraduate engineering students through stress and anxiety since the Covid-19 outbreak in March. Though the counselling sessions had to be done virtually, the faculty stayed connected with students across the country.
The centre marks its first anniversary on October 10, which is observed as World Mental Health Day. This year, the theme is ‘mental health for all’.
Sharing the centre’s role, Nandini Iyer, head, Department of Applied Sciences, said, “We could gather more inputs from students during our interactions. This helped us communicate better and reassure them, especially during such trying times.”
A mental health survey conducted by the centre found that students suffer from overthinking and are worried by uncertainty in academics and professional lives, lack of opportunities in extracurricular activities and effects of increased screen time during the lockdown.
“From adjusting to the sudden switch from a hostel-life to being at home with their family, a lack of clarity about exam schedules, jobs, trainings or postings, students have faced their share of anxiety since March,” said Kshipra Moghe, a psychologist at the centre.
Many senior students also created WhatsApp groups to stay connected with each other. “Even though the ‘personal connect’ during face-to-face interactions is missed, virtual media facilitated 150 students to interact and stay connected with their peers. So much so that many of the issues were resolved at the student level itself,” said Moghe.
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