YourDost: Evolving the Counselling Process in NITR

YourDost: Evolving the Counselling Process in NITR

Mental health is an essential part of our overall well-being. With the pandemic restricting everyone to their homes, mental health has become a bigger issue than it has ever been. Institute Counselling Services (ICS) has committed itself to reduce the stigma against mental health and help improve everyone's quality of life by providing counselling. They provide emotional counselling, academic counselling, socio-cultural counselling, and financial counselling through their website and their app. YourDost, an online counselling and emotional support platform reached out to ICS to help them further their cause and make counselling more accessible. The counselling has been launched in collaboration with ICS. The following sections can give a user an insight to register on the app.

KNOWING MORE ABOUT YOURDOST

No matter what's troubling you, get the support you need, right here, right now. -YourDost

YourDOST is an online counselling and emotional support platform designed to foster mental wellness. It anonymously connects you with the right Expert from our panel consisting of psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, life coaches, and career coaches, who understand you and guide you through completely confidential individual sessions.

YourDost was the first preference for many reasons; however, as a Centrally Funded Institute, NITR had to go for the tendering process as per the regulations. YourDost already had a good reputation catering to IIT Madras, IISc Bangalore,  IIT Kharagpur, IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee, IIT Patna, NID Ahmedabad, and NLU Odisha. 

It comes with a simple logic, which are:

  • Connect with your Expert- Chat anonymously with a YourDOST expert who's here to help you and not judge you.

  • Discuss your Concerns- Open up to your Expert in a space where you get the guidance you need and your concerns get the attention they deserve.

  •  Unleash a Better You- With 24X7 support from our experts, bid goodbye to your old self and be on your way to becoming a better you.

FACILITIES IT OFFERS

  • Free, confidential, private, and 24x7 access to YourDOST platform

  • Access to counselling guidance from 900+ experts

  • Seeking support on multiple concerns: Career, Relationships, Stress, and more.

  • Counselling in 22 different languages

  • Online chat sessions, voice/video calls

  • Instant support and unlimited access

  • Taking the first step towards unleashing your best version

  • Creating a happier NIT Rourkela community

STEPS TO REGISTER

Team Monday Morning caught up with the ICS Head, Prof. Pawan Kumar, to get insights about YourDost.

Monday Morning(MM): How do you think the initiative YOURDOST will be effective in helping the NITR fraternity during the online semester?

Prof. Pawan Kumar(PK): Relatively compared to big metro cities, Rourkela location is remote. Because of this, NIT Rourkela cannot have a variety of resource person who can give counselling service to NIT Rourkela community in physical mode.

In today's world, the issues faced by a person are unique and requires specific expertise, which may not be available in one place. Therefore, there is a need in our institute to have the best people available from all parts of the country who can give counselling services.

Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of our students are at home, and the drastic change of life has increased the need for online counselling with the best of people available from the country.

I took the Head of Institute Counselling Services charge from Ist July 2021. Our previous ICS team already started the processing of Online counselling services. But, somehow, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things were not materialized. It was a little tough to convince the authorities to restart the processing of online counselling services at our institute. But, our present ICS team was unanimous in having online counselling services at our institute. This gave me strength, and with the co-operation of ICS team members and administrative support, finally, the necessary formalities regarding the purchase order in favour of YOURDOST firm for online counselling services were released on 27th October. We are in a position to start it from Ist November 2021.

YOURDOST is already providing online counselling services to IISc, IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT KGP and other premier institutes of the country. As our students are of the same calibre and IQs as those institutes, I feel that YOURDOST will successfully address the counselling-related problems faced by our students.

Some of the advantages of YOURDOST are: it has a team of more than 900 counsellors from all parts of the country. Here the NITR community member has the liberty of booking an appointment with their choice of counsellors. Also, this service can be taken in 22 languages. Counselling taken in one’s mother tongue will undoubtedly give a more soothing touch. Lastly, online counselling can be taken in text/audio/video mode, and the counselling details will be strictly confidential. I hope these features offered by YOURDOST will help our students and make it successful.

MM: How was your experience procuring this initiative for the NITR fraternity?

PK: Teaching is an admirable profession, and by doing it dutifully for the welfare of students, one can serve the nation best. By God’s grace, I got the opportunity to work for the Institute Counselling Service. Here, I am lucky to have an enthusiastic ICS team.

We have a lot of new things in store for the well-being of the students' community of NIT Rourkela. We will be coming up with these new initiatives one by one very shortly. I seek the co-operation of administration and students to achieve the goals of making each other journey happy, enthusiastic, facilitating others services, being full of positivity and lastly, making life meaningful.    

Team Monday Morning also interacted with Amlan Das (ICS Coordinator) to garner some more insight into the initiative. This is what he said-

ICS has always felt the necessity to increase the number of counselling options on the campus. In the year 2018, the team started looking for different ways to improve the services. IITs have a very well organized counselling structure, and as such, it inspired us to explore Online Counselling. YourDost co-founder approached us, and they explained to us about the services they offer. We invited them to come to NIT Rourkela, wherein they had an overall discussion with former director Prof. Animesh and the then ICS faculty team.

The enterprise was quite promising. However, it could not be conceptualized due to a lack of support from management. It took two years and a lot of effort from ICS to get the idea framed into a Tender process. In May 2020, a tender was floated regarding an online counselling service. Initial processes were completed, but due to COVID, the technical aspects were delayed till another year. Prof. Pawan Kumar took over as the Head of Unit of ICS in July 2021, and he made Online Counselling a priority. He worked relentlessly to see the process to its end. Finally, in the last week of October, a purchase order was released with YourDost as the designated vendor for online counselling services.

Personally, for me, it was a dream which got true after three years. It was the dedicated support of the ICS faculty team that made this happen. Last but not least, student coordinators and our students played a pivotal role in preparing proper feedback and organizing information.

Team MM congratulates ICS for having YOURDOST on board and wishes that this initiative be used for improving the mental well being of NIT Rourkela Fraternity.

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