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JGU Mental Health and the COVID- 19 Pandemic

Tanisha Kohli

“Every day I find myself dealing with something that either gets me too down, where I cannot function and want to hurl up my insides out and on other days, I am so happy of how this quarantine has slowed down this busy life giving me a chance to work on myself and my mental health,” says Rakshitha Vijay, a second-year student studying in Jindal Global Law school.

The pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of the students of O.P. Jindal Global University. An assessment of 100 students of O.P Jindal Global University has revealed that a majority of them are suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder, restlessness, and a sense of hopelessness about their future.

The mental health implications of COVID 19 has caused psychological distress among university students as well as the public in general. Many new mental health helplines have come up during the pandemic to help people get through these tough times such as ‘Let’s Talk’, ‘Covid-19 Helpline’ etcetera.

Professor Kriti Agarwal, who teaches Environmental Psychology at Jindal University, said, “The sudden change in our environment has introduced stress in every individual. This pandemic has brought in a lot of uncertainty with its seemingly endless lockdown resulting in one becoming distressed. Students were suddenly required to move to their home with a shift to online education.”

She added, “Our environment, it’s physical surfaces, and the individuals we meet are looked at with scepticism. Various factors in our environment and daily life have changed, making it difficult for students to adapt everywhere, making them anxious.”

Mudita Motwani, a liberal arts student, pursuing Psychology, got diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) amidst the pandemic. She runs an online platform named ‘Current Anxiety Level’ that aims to educate and inform the youth about the importance of mental health. This page was a result of her battle with anxiety as she thought that this would be an amazing journey to share with other people. She is looking forward to creating a safe community for people going through the same.

Another student-run Instagram page, ‘The Humans of Jindal’ that aims to create a safe space for people from the JGU Community who are going through mental illness. The admin of the page (who wanted to remain anonymous) said, “The number of students approaching in terms of mental illness has increased during these times. He also said how students have reached a “saturation point” in the pandemic and reached out to the page to tell their mental health journeys

When asked, how can one seek help if they’re going through a feeling of hopelessness and stress, the JGU Counselor Ms Ruby Grace said, “The most common emotion faced by all during the pandemic is fear. It makes us anxious, panicky, and can even possibly make us think, say, or do things we might not consider appropriate under normal circumstances. Signs like social withdrawal, mood fluctuations, sleep disturbance, feeling of worthlessness, the panic-like state are a few symptoms of Mental illness.”

She added, “One must seek help if these symptoms are for a longer period. Seeking help on campus or outside campus is one’s own decision. If the students wish to take an appointment from the campus, they can email cwcs@jgu.edu.in or can call the helpline number +91 8396907312 for an appointment.”

In addition to this, the Jindal Global University has a paid online platform ‘YourDOST’, where students can avail free counselling services by anonymously talking to the experts. The students can enter their JGU ID and get one-on-one counselling. They provide 24x7 support from the experts.

(Edited by Isha Chincholkar & Stuti Kohli)