MTech student did not approach counselling centre at IISc

MTech student did not approach counselling centre at IISc

About six months ago, Ankita (name changed), a student at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), felt extremely lonely and homesick resulting in severe insomnia. 

“Although the phase was for a short period of time, I was not feeling very good and needed someone to talk to. I had been away from home for a very long time,” she said.

Learning of her state, a faculty member refered her to Centre for Counselling and Support (CCS) at IISc. After a few rounds of counselling, Ankita felt better. “I had heard about the Centre, but was not aware about its functioning and therefore, did not approach it,” she said.  

While Anita’s condition was prevented from becoming worse when she agreed to seek help, many others may not be so open. 

CSS will be launching a peer counselling programme or peer support group in June where it will train two students from each department to identify other students who may be suffering from depression and distress and refer them to CSS before it is too late. 

The students will receive training from a professor of Nimhans, according to CSS Counseling Psychologist Nalini Dwarakanath.  

Presently, the centre offers group as well as individual counselling on referrals — by faculty or health centre or student council — five days a week as well as orientation programmes to freshers.   CSS had conducted two rounds of counselling orientation in Aerospace Department this academic year. Coincidentally, it had also organised a workshop on how to deal with relationships. 

J K Prabhakaran, an MTech student of Aerospace Engineering, whose alleged suicide came to light on Monday, is believed to have been suffering from relationship problems. CSS did not receive any communication from Prabhakaran at any point of time.

 “There are a number of students who may be shy or reserved and peer counselling will help in identifying such persons,” Nalini said.

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