Acknowledging the mental health and stress suffered by students during the pandemic, the Madhya Pradesh State Education Department has taken up a new initiative. This initiative comes in the form of a toll-free number 1800 233 0175. The initiative has been announced today, January 19, 2022, by the education department’s official Twitter account @schooledump.
Although this announcement comes 19 days late, the number is already in function in several schools. Students with any educational or academic issues can contact this number within working hours to get them resolved. The timings are from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Purpose behind this Toll-Free helpline
The MP School Education Department published a notice on its official Twitter account, explaining the reasons behind this helpline number. Accordingly, schools in high schools and higher secondary schools face stress during three basic situations – before exams, during exams, and after exams. There is the anticipation before exams and the pressure of time during the exam. They also undergo post-exam stress while waiting for the results to come out. And finally, when they do, the results are often unsatisfactory. This invariably leads to dejection and disappointment.
Acknowledging the longstanding internal turmoil, the state education department decided on creating this helpline number. The helpline started functioning on January 01, 2022.
In addition to resolving academic concerns, this helpline also circulates important information pertaining to exams. These include rules and regulations, tips to maintain composure, instructions to maintain good physical and mental health, etc.
Situations and Stress Faced by Students
Creating a dedicated helpline number is an important step towards a student’s mental health. However, the question still remains – how has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the youth of the country, especially those studying in schools or universities. Several governmental and non-governmental organizations conducted elaborate studies to understand how students have been impacted mentally due to the pandemic.
A web-based study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) studied and analyzed a total of 324 college-going students. Following are the findings –
# Out of the 324 participants, 68.8% suffered from high fear of COVID-19.
# 28.7% of participants suffered from moderate to severe depression.
# 51.5% suffered from mild to severe anxiety.
# Other Among the identified risk factors such as having a COVID-19 infected family member was considerably associated with anxiety and depression.
So, along with rampant anxiety and depression, students also suffered from moderate to high fear associated with COVID-19. The influx of media coverage, misinformation, lack of direction in education, and other factors contributed to their deteriorating health. So, it is undeniably true that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significantly negative impact on the youth of this country. It is pertinent for all elements associated with this age group to counter the deteriorating mental health.