Q1: The initiatives you’ve already worked on as part of the BSW focus heavily on mental health and student counselling. You have also mentioned the need for better Student Counselling Services and alumni mentorship. How do you plan to tackle these issues as G-Sec this year?
Yes, my main agenda is on mental health itself. In the matter of mental health, there are two fundamental things: to increase awareness about mental health and to make it more accessible to students. To make it more accessible to students, we are planning to reach out to SCS and YourDost so that people can approach counsellors and professionals online. Which is why we are thinking about making an SCS portal for better access.
Q2: YourDost already provides free online mental health counselling to IITD students. So why do you think there is a need for a separate SCS portal? Wouldn’t a new portal be redundant?
That's a good question; I’ll explain. Right now, there are PG students living on campus, and if they need any help, it would be great if they could reach out to a counsellor face-to-face after booking an appointment online. Second is the online component. Suppose, say, a second-year student had been going to a particular counsellor and now they want to continue that counselling from home, then they should have the ability to reach out. So the main intention of the SCS portal is to help students who want to continue their counselling from home. Because if you find that you like a counsellor, then it’s better to just continue sessions with them instead of interrupting your counselling.
Q3: In your manifesto, you’ve talked about a series of sessions with alumni mentors. It sounds like you’re talking about more than just career counselling. Can you explain why you felt the need for this?
Yes, the alumni sessions are part of my second point – mental health awareness. I realized that there were several alumni who were trying to help IITD students on social media platforms. For example, last November there was an ex-IITian who wrote a very good post on Facebook, in which he talked about his depression and about reaching out to friends and counsellors. The post got a huge response – around 150 people messaged him and 25 people called him. So the thought came to my mind: if a single student can do this kind of mental health outreach in IIT Delhi, then why can’t BSW?
That’s why we will launch a series of videos of alumni talking about their experiences at IIT Delhi and how they dealt with mental health problems. We’ll start with an introduction on stereotypes that people have for IITians, and later we’ll move on to how IITD caters to mental health and their opinion on this system. They’ll also talk about