The following article addresses the lack of counsellors in educational institutions as well as the perils of untrained counselling.

Counselling isn’t a recent concept, nor is it restricted to any particular sphere of life. One may come across counsellors in hospitals, work places, sports complexes and many more fields. With time, the stigma against mental health too has been evaporating appreciably, encouraging more and more people to seek guidance and counselling. However, an area which significantly requires professional counsellors are educational institutions, be it schools or universities.

One’s personality starts developing very early during their childhood. In fact, the most formative years of a person are their childhood. With regard to academic pressure or the need for socialisation in school, every individual responds to their environment differently. Very often, as children, they tend to lack the ability to express their worries to other adults- basically parents and teachers, who may not entirely understand the gravity of their problems. A child requires a safe space to be comfortable and discuss what goes on in his or her life. With schools being the primary environment after their homes, counsellors in schools provide that safe space. It is not just young children but also particularly adolescents who require this outlet for venting their emotions.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had made it mandatory for all schools to have counsellors in faculty. However, a very small percentage of private schools actually follow this mandate. For obvious reasons, the situation in government schools is far worse. What is even more interesting is how, very often, schools appoint teachers in faculty with degrees in sociology to act like counsellors for students. Now, what they fail to recognise are the serious perils that untrained counselling can cause. Therapy or counselling is not an easy process. A counsellor’s job has a large impact on the lives of his or her patients. They may have pure intentions in mind but in practice, untrained counselling can adversely affect the mental health of vulnerable children for the worse.

Especially among adolescents of the current generation, Gen-Z, with growing impact of social media and societal expectations, the need to feel accepted and understood grows stronger. So often teenagers avoid therapy because of several reasons including lack of trust. It is in these situations where the skills of good teachers and counsellors play a vital role. Teachers in schools should be able to recognise and reach out to “troubled” students, allowing them to understand the severe need for counselling. A good counsellor establishes trust and a non-judgemental platform for venting feelings and learning to cope with them.

Moving on from schools, universities and colleges too are in a dire need for trained therapists. Most colleges, particularly government funded like the Delhi University, have student mental health societies at best. These societies work towards knowledge dissemination and often invite professionals for seminars. While the initiative is highly commendable, the lack of chronic professional help may leave the students helpless and hopeless.

While we have made efforts in establishing the seriousness of mental health among students particularly, it is high time we take action to provide spaces for these students to seek help as and when required. As famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow, once quoted “in any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” Let us allow ourselves to take that step forward and not look back.

Featured Image Credits: Nami.org

Aditi Gutgutia

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University of Delhi (DU), in collaboration with the Dean of Students’ Welfare Office, organised an interactive counselling session for this year’s undergraduate admissions at Conference Centre, North Campus today. Similar sessions will be held on the 3rd and 8th of June in North Campus and 4th to 10th June in South Campus colleges.

A panel consisting of Dr Manoj Kumar Khanna, Principal of Ramjas College, Jaswinder Singh, Principal of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Keval Arora, Professor of English at Kirori Mal College, few members from the Grievance and Admissions Committees, among others, was present at Conference Centre, North Campus today for an interactive question-answer session. The aim of this conference was to acquaint the aspiring students with the admission procedure, and also to address their queries.

The programme was scheduled to be held between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; however, owing to the large number of students, it went on till almost 2:30 p.m. An enormous number of students flocked to the Centre today – so much so – that all of them could not be accommodated in the auditorium and had to be addressed to in shifts.

Among the congregation were parents of the aspirants, eager to get their doubts cleared. Arushi Gupta, an aspiring student, and her mother said they were satisfied with the answers that the panel provided them with.

Helping the panel was a group of 15 volunteers from various colleges across DU. They estimated to have answered as many as 400 questions collectively during the session, and were willing to sacrifice their break for the same. According to Varun Pradhan, a volunteer and student of Motilal Nehru College (Evening), the most common question was regarding the calculation of Best of Four percentage.


When asked about how the overall increase in 12th class percentage would affect the DU admissions this year, the answer from the volunteers was that they expected higher cut-offs. Interestingly, Pradhan also suggested that the number of registrations is expected to be lesser since the registration began much after the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) announced the results. He argued that the students who scored below a certain percentage might not apply in the first place.

The panel and volunteers alike also had to answer a new set of queries due to the changes that will be implemented from this year. These include DU’s affiliation with CBSE in getting the mark sheets, consideration of Modern Indian Languages as academic subjects, Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota, etc.

Also seen at Gate number 4 were members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), including Sidharth Yadav, the State Secretary of the students’ party. They were providing information in terms of the changes that the admin has come up with, water and chairs, etc. to those who had come to the conference.

It would be safe to say that the session accomplished much of what it had aimed to. The only dissent perhaps would be the fact that it was accessible to mostly students from Delhi and the NCR because it is highly improbable for outstation students to come to the national capital before the announcement of the first cut-off.

Image Credits: Maumil Mehraj for DU Beat


Maumil Mehraj 

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College life is often described as the best phase of life. But each student faces several problems in college. Delhi University has finally decided to pay heed to this issue. The Mind Body Centre of the University has launched free student counselling through email/telephone to help students cope with issues such as low self-esteem, family discord, anxiety, etc. MBC is a centre inaugurated on 13th February 2014 by the Vice-Chancellor of DU, Prof. Dinesh Singh with the objective of promoting wellness of girl students at the University. With its budding popularity and a need for expansion, its services can now be availed by all the students of the University. It is moving forward with the motto, ‘Health beyond Healthcare’.

And in order to seek help, there are three ways- phone-based, email-based and face-to-face counselling. For the phone based counselling, the toll free number is 1800-3000-7303. One may also seek their expertise by dropping in an email at [email protected]. Face-to-face counselling is only available for female students.

For further details one can log in on www.mbc.du.ac.in and get a better view of the assistance the centre can provide you with.

Image Credits- MBC’s official website

Nishita Agarwa

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