Telangana: TMREIS launches mental health helpline for students

Hyderabad: The Telangana Minority Residential Schools (TMREIS) in collaboration with city-based NGO Helping Hands Foundation (HHF) on Thursday launched a mental health helpline for its students.

The two organistations also jointly organised a mental health program for the students. The initiative will help build capacity, establish a helpline, provide suggestion boxes in all TMREIS schools and conduct live skills sessions on a continuous basis.

Approximately 250 teachers have been designated as counsellors. They have been put through an extensive orientation program conducted by HHF, under senior clinical psychologist, Dr Lavanya Miral.

Following the orientation, the teacher-counsellors will be able to identify signs and symptoms of students having any mental health-related issues, which they will immediately red-flag to a dedicated helpline. Students are being encouraged to drop a note in the grievance boxes, feedback, and any mental health-related issue.

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The counsellors will address the issues reported on a regular basis, counselling sessions will be done by a team of qualified psychologists through the helpline, as per requirement. Students can directly report any issue they are facing.

The counsellors will also conduct life skill sessions with students on handling examination-related stress, tackling anxiety and feeling of hopelessness, etc on site in the school classrooms and provide fortnightly feedback to the HELPLINE on the student’s mental health.

Releasing the Mental Health Awareness poster, Secretary of TMREIS B. Shafiullah IFS said “This is one of the first structured mental health programs by a government residential school, and with proper training and a helpline, student’s mental issues will be promptly addressed.”