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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

297 - IIT-B sets up FB page to help students tackle stress, anxiety - Indian Express

 The institute plans to conduct orientation programmes for faculty members, too. 
(Source: Express Archive)

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Posted: January 26, 2015 4:09 am

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”, and “taming your anger tips”, are some of the posts posted on the Facebook page “I

Care IITB: counselling and mental health”, an initiative by IIT Bombay. It is an attempt by the institute to reach out to its students and address their stress, anger and related issues in a friendly, unconventional and non-intimidating way, via social media. Both students and faculty members can share their views and problems on this page.

According to institute officials, self-help resources on stress, relationships and soft skills are provided via the Facebook platform. Some of the other posts include “music for solace” and “just having a simple ‘to do list’ can keep you on track with all the things that need to be accomplished in a day. Try it your smartphone can make you smart as well” and “feels like Winnie the Pooh day – always put a smile on my face”.

Students can use the Facebook page to get regular tips on managing stress, anger, anxiety, emotional and relationship issues, or even problems faced by students when they shift from a vernacular medium or a rural set-up to a city culture and to an English-medium of instruction. They can also know about any upcoming workshops organised by the counselling care centre such as academic stress management.

The initiative is an extension of the enhanced counselling services at the institute. While IIT Bombay already had a counselling facility at the office of dean of student affairs (DoSA), a new counselling centre has been set up at the institute’s main building. The setting up of the new centre was partly supported by the ‘Legacy project’ of the alumni batch of 1986. At present, the institute has three counsellors.

“With an increase in the number of students over the years, the need was felt to have more counsellors and a more friendly and informal approach. The counsellor now routinely goes to all the hostels and visits students to understand if they need any guidance. It intends to identify students facing problems. This new centre will conduct orientation sessions and workshops for the students,” said Rashmi Uday Kumar, Public Relations Officer, IIT Bombay.

There have been cases of suicide among students across IITs after entering the elite institutes. There has been growing realisation for the need of a more approachable medium, where counselling is more student-friendly.

The institute plans to conduct orientation programmes for faculty members, too, so that they are better equipped to recognise and take care of students who are in need of help.

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