At a time when thousands of students of students of Allahabad University (AU), including those staying in any of the hostel of AU, day scholar of those living in different localities on rented rooms, may be felling mental problems like anxiety and depression because of the ongoing lockdown, the varsity authorities have extended a helping hand for these students.
The noble initiative of the varsity authorities follows the instructions of the University Grants Commission (UGC), wherein the apex decision making body has asked all the universities across the country to come out with various steps for helping the students to cope up with the stress in these testing times.
The letter of the UGC’s secretary (letter number F. No. 1-1/2020 (Secy) dated April 5) is on the subject of the mental health and well-being of students during and after COVID-19 outbreak.
“Following the directives of the UGC, we have formed a helpline for mental health, psychosocial concerns and well-being of the students in the university with immediate effect”, said AU’s registrar, Prof NK Shukla.
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There are number of teachers of AU who would be present for helping the students. This include the dean student welfare Prof K P Singh, the chief proctor, Prof R K Upadhyaya, Dr SK Agarwal of the university health center, senior teachers of the department of Phycology and that of centre of behavioural and cognitive sciences (CBCS) etc.
Besides, wardens and superintendents of various boys and girls hostel of AU have also been made the members of the helpline and they can be contacted by the students in case of any need while handling their mental health.
The registrar further informed that this helpline is dedicated to reassure the student community to avoid any kind of stress or panic in the prevailing situation vis-å-vis their studies, health and related issues and to take all precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of students on the campus and in the hostels.
“Through the helpline, we will regularly monitor the students through interaction over phones, emails, digital and social media platforms and facilitate formation of the COVID-19, help groups of students, headed by hostel wardens/ senior faculty members so as to provide immediate necessary help”, said Prof Shukla.
The helpline would also facilitate sharing of the several video links on AU’s website aimed at helping the students handle the stress.
“At this age of teens, the fellow students are the best companions and when these youths are neither allowed to move out of the houses nor they can meet their friends, this is ought to cause problems like anxiety or even depression in some cases, it is here that the helpline would come as a boon”, said Prof Bhoomika Kar of CBCS, AU.
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