The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIM-M) has launched an online emotional wellness platform ‘YourDOST’ to assist in dealing with stress.
The online platform’s aim is to increase awareness regarding mental wellness and to break the widespread social stigma attached to seeking psychological help on campus.
The easy to access mechanism has been introduced with the hope that students would be more comfortable on an online platform rather than face-to-face system of psychological counselling.
Functions of the anonymous forum are similar to a chatroom. Students will be required to log on with a user ID and password to participate in a counselling session. All the sessions will be one-on-one with a professional at the other end of the chat. A number of experts are empanelled by the institute has which includes eminent psychologists, life coaches and career coaches.
Purab Jain, General Secretary of the student body, said, “Many aren’t comfortable saying they are taking up a counselling session. We already had a regular counselling mechanism where counsellors come to the campus. However, some students may feel uneasy about going to a counsellor’s room with other students watching. This is precisely why YourDOST was launched.”
Strengthening its peer support network, the student has also launched various other initiatives like ‘Mitr’. Mitr is guidance and counselling team which has been split into two wings –proactive guidance and reactive guidance. The proactive wing is called ‘Saathi’ which involves around 250 student mentors in creating awareness and sensitising students about overall well-being.