St. Mira's College For Girls, Pune

Autonomous - Affiliated to Savitribai Phule Pune University * Undertaking

Re-accredited by NAAC 'A' Grade (Third Cycle June 2017) 2017 : NAAC score 3.41 2012 : NAAC score 3.03 Awarded: Best College-SPPU (2002); , UGC-CPE (2005), UGC-CPE (2010)

The Mental Well Being Program


About


The Mental Well-bring Program for students of St. Mira’s College for Girls, Pune launched in July 2019.

The Programme is a full-time program initiated by Department of Psychology to address mental health needs and concerns of the students. Promotion, Prevention, and Intervention are the three major arms of this program.

For further details contact

Dr Jaya Rajagopalan

Head of Department of Psychology

Psychology Lab, 2 nd Floor

Email: jaya.rajagopalan@stmirascollegepune.edu.in


Object

Increase awareness about four major themes: Stress, Depression, Anxiety, and Interpersonal relationships

Help students identify various mental health concerns faced by them

Reduce stigma amongst students around mental health needs and concerns

Encourage help-seeking and bridge the gap between students and College counsellor

Enhance sensitivity and empathy about mental health needs and concerns

Identify students displaying early signs and symptoms of a mental health concern and provide early intervention

Integrate life-skills listed by WHO through awareness sessions, support groups and counselling services.

--Broad Activities

Mental Health Promotion : is any action taken to maximise mental health and wellbeing among students. All the college platforms like the daily sanctuary, notice boards and classroom discussions etc, were used to promote the need and importance of mental wellbeing.

Prevention : refers to interventions that occur before the initial onset of a disorder to prevent the development of the disorder. Our focused group therapy sessions and awareness sessions aim at identifying risk factors for student’s mental health and enhancing protective factors like peer support, sense of trust etc, that promote mental well-being.

Early intervention : comprises interventions that are appropriate for and specifically target people displaying the early signs and symptoms of a mental health problem or mental disorder, and people developing or experiencing a first episode of mental disorder Services provided under this program: Individual Counselling, Group therapy, and mandatory classroom awareness sessions.


Visiting Mental Health Consultants

Behroze Chinoy- A Counselling Psychologist by professions.

Available: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12:00-2:00 pm on campus.

Nupur Dhakephalkar- A practicing Clinical Psychologist (NIMHANS, Bangalore).

Available: Thursdays from 12:00-2:00pm on campus.


Implementation Summary:

Type of services Total no. of sessions Theme covered Total Students benefitted
Classroom Awarenesssessions 52 Stress, Anxiety and Depression 1800
Group therapy sessions 16 Examination anxiety & Interpersonal relationships 240
Individual Counselling sessions 215 Individual Counselling sessions 215
COVID-19 Mental Well-being Response
Online support group sessions 12 Dealing with Lockdown, Managing anxiety and stress due to COVID-19 410
Community Outreach
Webinar series 3 Strategies to manage Anxiety, Building healthy social connections, Mindfulness and Mental Wellbeing 375

Measure 1

Program: Online Support group sessions for Students in times of COVID-19

Launched on March 22, 2020 the Online Support program is an extension of the college’s ongoing mental wellbeing programme introduced last year.

Objectives:

To create a safe space to discuss students’ needs, challenges and personal distress associated with preventive measures like quarantine and social distancing.

To address psychosocial and academic stressors faced by students due to lockdown

Identifying students who may at high risk for mental health concerns and reaching out to them through telephonic counselling

Conduction of focused group sessions for every class to address common concerns

Plan of Action:

Step 1: Identifying students’ needs and concerns

An online form was shared with all the students to know their mental health needs and readiness for online support groups/sessions. More than 700 students requested for online support and interaction with the college counsellor

Step 2: Familiarizing students with aspects of online support group sessions.

All the important guidelines and protocols were shared with all the students explaining step by step process of joining support group sessions through ZOOM network. A well-defined timetable was also shared to make these sessions accessible to all.

Step 3: Online support group sessions- 90 minutes each

Online support group sessions started on 28th March 2020. College counsellor has been meeting students from each class virtually where following concerns and topics are discussed:

Mental health care- ideas and suggestions

Dealing with lack of Motivation

Anxiety and Depressive thoughts – sharing these feelings and navigating

Boundary setting – with family members, partners and social media

Step 4: Identifying students at high risk.

Last and most important step of this program is reaching out to potentially high-risk students for mental health concerns, through Skype sessions/calls by the college counsellor. Students have also been asked reach out to the college counsellor directly using email or call.


Measure 2

Sharing video links of Ministry of Health and Family welfare on College website and with faculty and students through email, WhatsApp and social media:

Practical tips to taking care of your mental health during the stay in

Minding our minds during COVID -19

Various health experts on how to manage mental health and wellbeing during COVID- 19 outbreak

Psychosocial toll-free Helpline: 080461100

Mental Well-being awareness sessions were conducted for all degree college classes including BA, BCom, BBA, BCA, BCS and junior college students.

Impact summary:

After awareness session on Stress and Anxiety, 98.9% of students reported that they felt mental health awareness sessions are important for building sensitivity and awareness about mental well-being.

80.9% of students reported that the awareness session on Depression and loneliness triggered some feelings /thoughts for them and encouraged help-seeking from the counsellors.

66.4% of participants reported that they felt relaxed and 54% of them felt motivated after the online support group sessions during the lockdown.

96.7% of students reported that virtual sessions will help students in dealing with emotional concerns during the lockdown

As feedback to mental well-being awareness sessions, 89.3% of students reported that they would like to attend more such workshops/sessions in the future.


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of ambiguity and anxiety, especially amongst students. Times like these can generate a lot of stress which may be shown by our body in various ways. It has created changes in our routine, eating and sleep patterns and outlook towards the day.

The Mental Well-being program will focus on building support, provide safe spaces to interact and building new resources for students to deal with this unprecedented change. The programme would encourage students to identify their concerns and seek help from the college counsellor.

Themes:

Manifestation of Stress- Depressive Thoughts and Anxiety in times of Emergencies

Studying from home- Tips and Suggestions

Career Guidance and Planning

Building Healthy Social Connections

Community Outreach-Webinar Series and Support Group sessions for students and teachers on Mental Well-being Strategies in times of COVID-19 pandemic and Psychological First Aid.


Program Coordinator:

Ms. Pooja Jain ( Full-time On-campus Counsellor, St. Mira’s College)

Counselling Psychologist (TISS, Mumbai) with an experience of 5 years.

Ms. Jain regularly conducts classroom awareness sessions and group therapy sessions

Write to us: mentalhealth@stmirascollegepune.edu.in

Department of Psychology

Dealing with mental health impacts of COVID-19 one session at a time.

Amidst the chaos induced by COVID-19, students are dealing with various mental health concerns. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research has found a broad worsening of mental health indicators among college students in Indian context. Now students are facing new, complex challenges such as adapting to distance learning, isolation from peers, concerns about family, health, career and financial security. UGC has already stated the guidelines and importance of preventive measures to help students deal with mental health impacts of COVID-19. St. Mira's College for Girls, Pune organised a series of Mental Well-being awareness sessions to address these mental health concerns and help students navigate through this stressful time. This series is an extension of the College’s ongoing full time Mental Well-being program for their students.

The Mental Well-being program is designed with a conscious awareness that mental wellbeing requires consistent and continuous work. This program is a major component of the entire academic year for our college where students receive both preventive and interventive mental health care.

The webinar series was announced on 23 rd April 2020. An online survey was done to assess college student’s mental health concerns during the lockdown. Students reported increased anxiety, lack of routine, depressive thoughts and interpersonal conflicts with family members as major concerns.

College Mental Well-being program coordinator Ms. Pooja Jain reported, around 310 students signed up for these sessions from various colleges across country including students from Trivandrum, Visakhapatnam, Ghaziabad, Patna and various cities and towns of Maharashtra. First session was conducted on 25 th April, 2020 which focused on practical skills and ways to manage Anxiety. Second session dated on 27 th April, 2020 focused on building healthy Social Connections with peers and family members. This session was very well received, and students shared how the practical insight and conflict resolution skills helped them in improving their relationship with parents and identify unhealthy relationships with peers and social media. Last session of the series focused on holistic Well-being and Mindfulness. Various mindfulness techniques and exercises were practiced by the psychologist in the session to help students practice in their daily routine. 98% of the students reported that they felt relaxed and motivated after these sessions through the feedback form. All of them requested to organise more sessions on Mental Well- being and expressed that they are particularly important for student community.

Mental health and Wellbeing of Students during and after COVID-19 breakout (April 4, 2020)

Following measures have been taken for the mental health, psychosocial aspects and well-being of the students: