All ears to young woes

Patient hearing

The competition is palpable, whether in college or at the workplace. There are people who cope with it without much trouble but there are a few others who need help in getting used to the pressure and to overcome it. 

That is where counsellors come in and they are now much more sought-after than before. 

More and more youngsters are seeking professional help these days. On the mushrooming of counselling centres in the City, Genevieve, a child counsellor with Banjara Academy, says, “A decade ago, I would just come, sit here without much to do and go back. 

But today, I am working overtime. Isn’t that self-explanatory?” Most counselling centres are people-friendly. Instead of the traditional patient-doctor atmosphere, the counsellors double up as friends and that works like magic. 

Those who seek counselling don’t shy away from sharing their experiences. Naveen, a youngster, has had his spells of depression. 

He struggled to give up his drug addiction and even attempted suicide twice. “During my counselling sessions, I could understand where the problem lay and the counsellors did well to guide me on the right path. They gave me hope to live,” he says.

The traditional definition of counselling is fast-changing. More than seeking help, the sessions are more about guiding and helping the young achieve their dream. 

Those in distress are thus able to find solace. Gayathri, mother of a 17-year-old, says, “Today, kids are more open with others than their parents. My daughter was confused about the courses to choose after her pre-university. But professional guidance helped her choose the right stream.” 

Society may have progressed but people’s mindset hasn’t changed much. They still look at many things with a closed mind and this shakes the confidence of a lot of people.
 Sheryl, whose sister had a learning disability after an accident, says, “People have termed her as a mentally ill child. What they don’t understand is that it’s not a problem she was born with. It happened later.

 She is just a slow and selective learner but people think of her to be affected by Down’s Syndrome or being handicapped. That’s unfortunate.”

Manasa, who is working at NIMHANS, thinks that people have a closed mind. She feels that people need to change their mindsets. 

“People accept the causes and effects of lifestyle-related diseases but why it is that they fail to understand the reasons that trigger these psychological problems? The only solution is to educate people and make them more aware of their surroundings,” she says.  

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