The common perception of the public when they hear that someone is attending counseling is to automatically assume that they are crazy or mentally ill. I am not saying this is what everyone assumes but it is safe to 8 of 10 people would do so. I won't blame them for thinking so because ever since we were young this are the kinds of things we were told when we are growing up.
Recently I cam across a case in my university whereby a student had a breakdown. He/She recently broke up with their lover and if I'm not mistaken, a close family member also had passed away while having to cope with the exam stress. It was too much too handle and the person started to act differently from norm. The university management we aware of the issue and contacted his/her parents and they got him/her to consult a psychiatrist. The current state of the student is unknown but I hope and wish for a speedy recovery for that student.
Concerned about this issue, I spoke to a lecturer from my university regarding this issue and what my lecturer told me shocked me. The lecturer said "Sukesh, this is not the first case of a student having a mental breakdown here. This kind of cases happens on a yearly basis just that it is not widely known by the rest. Only this case seemed to have gone a little viral, but yes Sukesh this things happens almost every year"
It is shocking to me because, having spend 4 years, this was the very first time I have seen such issue, and to know this happens on a yearly basis is not something healthy. Thus the need to encourage counseling sessions for students should be a pressing issue from the university management.
My university already has 2 counselors available for students to meet, but the issue is how many students knows that there is a counselor available in the university that they can speak to times of need. For me, the management and counselors needs to do more to promote the existence of these counseling sessions and highlight the importance why students need to do
It is important to do so as that will encourage students who are having issues at an initial stage to approach their counselor and discuss about it. This can help avoid student's conditions from getting severe and also avoid the possibility of them taking drastic measures.
Current most viable outlet any student here has is by taking a subject called "Peer Counseling". It is a curriculum subject of 1 credit hour. Personally, I find this one of the most beneficial subject I have done in the 4 years of my degree time. We conduct group counseling session whereby we have total freedom and trust in a circle of people to share our deepest secrets and not being judge upon what we say.
I have managed to share many sad moments that happened to me and was well supported by my peers. Every time, at the end of the session, I leave as a better men. It was for 10 weeks and the session was about an hour only. Now imagine students here can do that throughout their 5 years, every week for an hour. I am sure you will have more confident and mentally stronger graduates being produced. Graduates who can cope with the stress they are going through without breaking down while having an outlet to share their issues.
In conclusion, counseling is a taboo that should be broken and have it encouraged for everyone to be involved in