INDIA: Student mental health services launch at college
New facilities provide research, testing and counseling capabilities
(MissionNewswire) Salesian College Siliguri, located in North Bengal, India, has launched its first Psychology Lab, Wellness Studio and Wellness Woods. The lab is a facility for research, psychological testing and diagnostics while the studio is a counseling center open to students and anyone who requires wellness therapy.
The psychology department at Salesian College started in 2012. It is the only college of North Bengal University’s 64 affiliate colleges to offer degree courses in psychology both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
“The Psychological Lab and Wellness Studio are significant contributions the college is offering to North Bengal and particularly to Siliguri in the mental health sector,” said Father George Thadathil, a professor and principal of Salesian College.
Dr. Prince C. P., one of the initiators of the lab, explained, “The Wellness Studio and Wellness Woods are the facilities for counseling and clinical psychology where master’s students of psychology will be able to practice and provide professional services to students on referral.”
Dr. Paramita Datta Rej, associate professor, added, “Through the various tests in the lab we will be able to assess the various mental health issues faced by children as well as adults.”
At a launch event, Paramita provided a demonstration of a standard testing and assessment tool while explaining various ways to diagnose obsessive and compulsive disorders common among students and adults. The Psychology Lab intends to promote research, analysis and treatment. It also enables psychology students to become familiar with psychological testing tools to provide effective intervention. Among the master’s level students are Salesian, Claretian and Vincentian priests.
Salesian College provides education for more than 2,100 students who take arts and humanities, commerce, science, and professional courses from 20 departments disciplines. There are also post-graduate courses in English, education and psychology.
India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
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