The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati) is a government-sponsored technical university in the Indian state of Assam’s Amingaon neighbourhood of North Guwahati Village. It was established as India’s sixth Indian Institute of Technology. IIT Guwahati is officially recognised by the Indian government as an Institute of National Importance. IIT Guwahati has been placed 7th among India’s engineering institutes in the most recent NIRF Ranking for 2023. Recently, IIT Guwahati established a dedicated mental health and counselling system known as “SAATHI” in the form of a centre for holistic wellbeing in accordance with the Ministry of Education’s guidelines titled “UMEED” to improve sensitivity and understanding and provide support to at-risk students.
According to a news release from IIT Guwahati, the SAATHI Counselling Club comprises volunteer students who work with trained counsellors to assist other students with their mental and general well-being.
Statement Released by IIT Guwahati:
“Understanding the significance of students’ mental health is essential. A robust mind supports both academic excellence and thorough personal development. Our institute has a licensed staff of counsellors and psychiatrists, backed by a 24/7 online counselling service accessible to all students. We have made counselling essential for all new students, with specialised support available at their doorsteps, demonstrating our steadfast commitment to students’ wellbeing. Prof. Parameswar K. said, We sincerely dedicate ourselves to nurturing our students’ well-being at IIT Guwahati, as we recognize that their success and contentment depend on it. Iyer, Officiating Director, IIT Guwahati, in a statement issued to the press.
Initiatives of SAATHI:
The SAATHI Counselling Club at the Institute launched a number of initiatives to enhance students’ general well-being, which are all included in the press release. These consist of:
1. First-year UG students’ ice-breaking session:
As soon as new students come on campus, the university organizes an ice-breaking session to create a welcoming environment and encourage connections. Along with educating students on the tools and support offered by the Counselling Cell and the Centre for Holistic Wellbeing, the session aims to increase awareness of mental health issues and general well-being.
2. Programmes for peer mentoring:
The Peer Mentorship Programme pairs new students with peer mentors who will be crucial in supplying appropriate details, resolving questions, helping with various obstacles, and guiding newcomers. With the help of this initiative, the team has been able to assist individuals in need successfully and has dealt with many instances of stress and problems adjusting to the competitive climate.
3. Interaction with institute counsellors is a must for all first-year UG students:
To give first-year UG students the chance to connect with the counsellors of the Institute affiliated with the Centre for Holistic Wellbeing, the SAATHI Counselling Club has created a comprehensive timetable. We created the schedule to ensure that the interaction sessions would not conflict with the students’ academic schedules The required engagement enables the students to become familiar with the counsellors and the campus counselling services. Highlighting that getting treatment for mental health issues is a perfectly acceptable and normal thing to do, this also eliminates the stigma attached to doing so.
4. Engagement and active participation in situations of emergency:
The SAATHI Counselling Club has taken the initiative to address student concerns about mental health and other comparable issues. They have successfully assisted students who reported having panic attacks, stress, depression, or other unusual behaviour. According to the institute, these preventive initiatives have already had good effects, including helping many students who were struggling with stress, sadness, and anxiety.
5. Workshop on Stress Escape Rooms in collaboration with MindPeers:
The SAATHI Counselling Club and MindPeers collaborated to host a Stress Escape Room programme for students to assist them in preparing for the semester exams. The purpose of the event was to discuss entrepreneurship and career options as well as how to deal with and manage stress.
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