Thiruvananthapuram: KK Shailja, Health Minister Kerala on Thursday launched a scheme to give counseling to students to reduce their stress and anxiety amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project has been launched by the State Health Ministry in association with the Education Department and the Women and Child Department.
While addressing a press conference State Health Minister revealed that the project has been launched as there were reports of students committing suicide and exams results being awaited.
"Some studies have unveiled frightening data regarding the suicide of students across the country. To prevent depression, behavioral problems and stress, we are launching this initiative for the students. The Education Department and the Department of Women and Children will also partner in this project, “added the State Health Minister.
She applauded the efforts being taken in recent days by the state and more than 5 lakh people in the isolation wards being counseled telephonically.
With its mission to reach every corner, the initiative launched will be implemented by Anganwadi Workers, Asha Workers, and School Counselors and online and phone counselors.
"Firstly, through Anganwadi and Asha Workers who will be given the checklist for fieldwork to counsel in-person. Secondly, we will be using the service of existing school counselors who are well aware of students in a particular school. Thirdly, we will be using the services of our online and phone counselors. And for this, a "Disha" helpline number-"1056" is provided. Both parents and teachers can call on this number for counseling sessions, “she said.
To work with the data, a high-level committee is formed, which would collect the data of the number of suicides committed by the students in the state, and will form a roadmap for the counselors.
Stressing on this issue, the minister said "This issue needs serious attention. It will be given priority in the state to prevent suicides in the state."
Also, the work by the state's health ministry is broadly acknowledged by its people.