Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], June 25 (ANI): Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja on Thursday launched a project to provide counselling to students to reduce their stress and anxiety levels in the backdrop of COVID-19.
The project has been launched by the state Health department along with the Education department and the Women and Child Department.
Addressing a press conference, the Minister said, "The project is being launched as there were reports of students committing suicide and exams results are being awaited."
"Studies have revealed alarming data regarding the suicide of students across the country. To prevent depression, behavioural problems, stress, etc. We are launching this initiative for students. The education department will also partner in this project," the Minister said.
She informed that the state has already counselled over 5 lakh people at homes and in isolation wards through phones.
The project will be implemented on three levels -- Anganwadi and Asha workers, school counsellors and online and phone counsellors.
"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 counsellors who are well aware of the students in a particular school and thirdly, we will be using the help of online and phone counsellors and for this, a helpline number '1056 - Disha number' is provided. Both parents and students can call on this number for counselling," she said.
A high-level committee would collect data regarding students suicides and would chalk out plans to prevent it, the Health Minister added.
"It is a serious issue that needs attention. Suicide prevention will be given priority in the state particularly in the backdrop of COVID-19," she said. (ANI)