Counselling: Why it’s okay to seek help2 min read
We lead lives that are always in a state of motion. It seems like we are all in a perpetual race – a race to attain good grades, be popular, check things off from bucket lists, achieve goals and lead successful lives. Sometimes, we stumble and fall. We fail and we do not reach expectations set on ourselves, by us or by others. At those times, a helping hand is not a bad idea.
The counselling service at Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) was set up over 25 years ago. It was established under the Department of Continuing Education and Student Counselling with the aim of taking care of students’ day to day issues, psychological or of any other nature. It was co-ordinated under the same department until two years ago. Now, it is coordinated by the Department of Student Welfare.
Counselling is often viewed as advice given for broken people who need fixing.This notion dissuades many students from coming forward to seek help but talking to a counselor who listens to your problems and does not judge you can be beneficial for many students especially in times of grief. Shalini Sharma, MIT Professor and Visiting Counselling Consultant, elaborated, “Counselling helps the grieving person by giving an avenue, to unabashedly express himself or herself completely. The understanding, warmth, non-judgemental approach and the emotionally supportive atmosphere enables healing.”
Student life can be exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Hectic workloads, coping with tough subjects, striving for better results, messy sleep schedules take a toll on a student’s health. “We have chosen a fast paced life. Success is determined by earning capacity and popularity. There are several healthy activities that help a student unwind and feel good about himself. When plagued by anxiety and depression, the counsellor steps in,” added Shalini Sharma.
Some problems may be new to students and it is comforting to have someone to turn to when we are faced with a serious situation. John A, a student of MIT who has sought counselling before, explained, “This is a country where everyone thinks about what their neighbours would say. Everyone wants to talk about his or her experience, traumas, and problems. Not everyone is open with their parents, so there has to be someone they can talk to. Counselling really helps to learn how to cope with all the problems we are dealing with.”
The facility can be accessed by students of all colleges under Manipal University, and also the alumni. The service is available on the ground floor of Academic Block 1, beside the student welfare department.
Edited by Prajwal Bhat