HRD Ministry Launches Helpline to Provide Psychosocial Support for Students, Teachers, Parents
In an effort to provide psycho-social support and counseling to students, teachers and parents amid the pandemic, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has recently launched a helpline and website called Manodarpan.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16, when the Centre announced a nationwide classroom shutdown as one of the ways to limit the spread of Covid19. But, to ensure continuity of learning and avoid loss of time, schools have had to re-model and re-imagine their teaching methods. This has caused unexpected changes to children’s academic and social life, leading to the possibility of a rise in mental health issues.
This shift has also deeply affected parents, who are not only concerned about their children’s education, but are also struggling to balance working from home and the possibility of guiding children through more months of distance learning.
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Recently, the Ministry has taken other initiatives to take care of parents’ worries by issuing guidelines on screen time for online classes. However, the newly launched helpline will go a step further in addressing the health concerns of students, teachers, and parents who are getting emotionally affected with respect to the shift in the medium of education or the burden caused by it. It may also help in identifying issues at an earlier stage before they become bigger problems or the mental health threat that countries fear awaits them once the pandemic ends.
Everyone’s reactions to stressful situations might be different, the Ministry has acknowleged, and going through changes in emotions, particularly in the current times is also quite natural. “But if they get too overwhelming, in the sense, if such emotions and experiences begin to cause any hindrance to one’s normal daily functioning, it is better to seek help timely and recoup,” it states.
Users can call the MHRD’s toll-free national helpline number on 84484-40632 between 8 am and 8 pm daily.