JAMMU, AUGUST 13, 2020: Directorate of School Education Jammu, through its Counselling Cell, has taken a lead in the implementation of Manodarpan, an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to provide psychological support and counselling to students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional well-being in Jammu Division.

Director School Education Jammu, Anuradha Gupta while instructing counselling cell members said that COVID-19 pandemic has enormously increased the psychosocial/mental health needs of individuals and there is a need to upscale counselling initiatives to ensure well-being of individuals.

Approximately 20,000 individuals were sensitised by Psychological task force and counselling cell members on Manodarpan. It included sensitizing students, teachers and civil society members about various aspects of Manodarpan including recently launched manodarpan helpline. Some IEC material was developed and disseminated to make it easy for students to understand the function of Manodarpan.

Divisional level Psychological Task Force consisting of faculty members (teachers/ masters/lecturers) having PG Psychology was also constituted and they were trained to brush up their counselling skills by Counselling cell DSEJ in collaboration with Bhartiya Counselling Psychology Association.

The DSEJ also nominated District and Zonal Counselling Co-ordinators for assessing psychological emotional issues of children as they can play crucial role in awareness, Information dissemination and on ground implementation of well-being initiatives.

In view of prevailing situation due to Corona virus threat, DSEJ extended the services of its Tele Counselling helpline “Aao Baat Karein” beyond its basic functions to resolve the problems faced by students, parents and teachers to provide guidance about anxiety, psycho-social issues, mental health issues etc.

Since lockdown, it has resolved approximately 4,000 queries through tele counselling helpline Aao Baat Karein. It also started WhatsApp facility at its helpline to facilitate shy students who hesitate calling.

Under the Manodarpan theme, series of webinars are being organised by counselling cell DSEJ covering different themes viz. Road map for implementing Manodarpan, Ensuring Well-Being during corona times, Emotional-Behavioural issues in children, Examination stress, life beyond marks, career guidance, stress management, drug abuse, mental health issues, etc. These webinars have already benefitted thousands of students, teachers and parents.

Romesh Sharma, Head counselling Cell DSEJ, has asked the task force members to do mental health needs assessment in their respective zones and be prepared for more mental health challenges ahead due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the Jammu Division, the counselling calender was followed by the various counselling cells constituted in all HS/HSS schools and its different activities were performed by the students even during Lockdown.

In order to positively engage students during lockdown, themes related to counselling were added to DSEJ weekly assignments. Counselling cell DSEJ is continuously providing regular updates for ensuring well-being on Facebook page of counselling cell and other social media platforms.

Pertinently Project approval Board(PAB) Department of School Education and Literacy MHRD under Samagra Shiksha Scheme has approved the proposal of counselling Cell DSEJ regarding strengthening counselling services in the state. In this regard MHRD has agreed to sanction funds for initiating and strengthening counselling cells in the whole state.