Staying Connected in Distance - E-Counselling for Students

Take a deep breath… This has not been easy. Without question, we are exploring uncharted territory with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Within days we experienced sudden, rapid, and unexpected disruptions in our social, economic, and psychological lives. Though children are less likely to become ill, we’re only starting to understand what the pandemic might mean for children’s mental health and emotional well-being. Since the social needs of the school students are so much greater than the adults, the lockdown and lengthy school closure during the coronavirus pandemic poses a greater risk of mental health problems.

As uncertainty builds in our daily lives, many are overcome with fear and anxiety, shifting to anger and sadness, and then back again. Feelings of stress are undeniable. And that is OK! The stress we are all feeling is natural and, in fact, it is necessary during times of adversity. Stress prepares our mind and body for action, and calls our attention to what is important. Knowing how to use that stress effectively is essential. 

This is a test of our resilience. The measure of our success will be how well we cope today, at this very moment. What’s reassuring is that we have easy, internal tools readily available to us. Even when it feels paradoxical, feeling positive emotions (love, gratitude, joy) in the midst of a global crisis can promote resilience (Fredrickson, Tugade, Waugh, & Larkin, 2003).

Features of E-Counselling:

  1. It's difficult for children to say in so many words, "I feel worried". They express their anxiety through words like, "I miss school and friends to talk to". E-Counselling helps them unload on trained psychology counselors which further helps parents manage their anxieties knowing that the school is working for the emotional and mental wellbeing of their kids.
  2. E-Counselling has helped students who were already under therapeutic care to hold on to some form of stability with continued sessions with their respective counsellors.
  3. Counsellors have ensured timely emotional wellbeing check-ins of the teachers (old as well as new) and have discussed therapeutic ways of emotional regulation of the teachers, as well as the students.
  4. Counsellors have silently observed classroom sessions to assist whenever needed, and more importantly, observe student behavior to gauge their receptiveness to online learning and tailor make learning sessions for them.

The team also conducted sensitization sessions with grades 8-9-10 on gender sensitivity, sexual harassment, social media protocols after the infamous Bois Locker Room Incident in New Delhi.