Urgent Support

Find support for yourself

Student Support Structure of IIT - B

There may be times when dealing with things alone does not seem to be helping. Or else, you are simply too exhausted to even try anything on your own. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness. There is support available for you at IIT-B. Please don’t hesitate in reaching out!

For academic concerns:

Your Faculty Advisor could be your first point of contact.

You may also have specific queries about your different courses, in which case you can talk to your respective course instructors.

The DAMP mentor (if you have one) would help you out as well.

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For adjustment and other concerns:

Your ISMP/ ISCP mentor is your go-to person! It could be about your wingmates or about managing your schedule-your mentor has been there, done that.

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For hostel-related issues:

Please contact the Hall Manager (during office hours) or the Warden.

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For physical ailments:

Whether you’re feeling sick, lethargic, not being able to eat or sleep properly, or stressed, approach the IIT Hospital.

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For gender harassment-related issues:

Approach the Gender Cell.

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If you feel there is a threat to your or someone else’s personal safety:

Contact the Security or its Quick Response Team at any time

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For counselling services and emotional support:

When the emotions get overwhelming or when you are simply confused about what is happening to you, talking to a counsellor at the Student Wellness Centre could give relief and provide guidance about what you can do.

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Last but certainly not the least, your parents are just a phone call away. Don’t hold back from contacting them even if you just want to unburden!

Some questions students often have about mental health and counselling…

When is it a good time to reach out for professional help?

Your time at IIT is going to be like nothing you have experienced before. Needless to say, this novel experience will have its ups and downs. Feeling stressed at times is a very natural response. While there may be times when you can cope on your own, there may also be times when things get very overwhelming and your usual ways of coping may not be the most effective or sufficient. If you’ve been feeling like this lately and that your thoughts and emotions are getting in the way of doing your best, speaking to a counsellor can be of great use.

When thinking of seeking help. don’t think of this as a sign of weakness. Unfortunately, seeking support for one’s mental health is mired in various taboos (such as - I need to hit rock bottom before taking help; My concerns are not serious enough; I’m weak/ strong enough to do this on my own; I’m not really ‘ill’, I don’t need help). But remember, just like you wouldn’t hesitate before going to a doctor for any physical health concern, the same holds true for talking and getting support for your mental health.

What is the difference between me talking to a friend and talking to a counsellor? (what does a counsellor do?)

While talking to friends can be helpful, there are also times when it’s not enough. Your friend may have the best intentions for you, but may not always have the tools to help you through something. Additionally, they will have their own ideas and emotional reactions to what you share with them. A counsellor is a trained professional who will create a safe environment, be objective, non-judgmental, and focus on your concerns. Counsellors are equipped to respond to a range of issues effectively. Talking to a new, non-biased individual can help you to navigate through challenges with a fresh perspective on things.

What is counselling anyway? What can I talk about?

Counselling is a collaborative process between an individual and a trained mental health professional to resolve one’s concerns and promote well-being. You can talk about anything that has been on your mind, anything that you feel comfortable sharing. Keep in mind that there is no concern ‘too small/trivial’ to be discussed with your counsellor.

How will it help me?

Counselling provides a safe and judgment-free space where you can process your emotions, make meaning of your experiences, and gain new tools to deal with your concerns. By facilitating deeper understanding and recognition of various patterns, effective counselling can help you improve your relationship with yourself as well as others and improve your overall well-being.

What are the different kinds of counselling?

There are various forms of counselling like face-to-face, over the telephone, using technology like email, chat, and virtual face-to-face (like over skype). Face-to-face counselling is one of the most widely known methods. In this, you meet the counsellor in person for sessions that usually last for 45-60 minutes (but which varies as per the needs of the client). This face-to-face medium is used by the Student Wellness Centre too. The team of counsellors at SWC deals with a range of concerns like emotional, academic, interpersonal, adjustment and others related to psychological wellbeing.

What can I expect in the first session? What do I even say?

Making the decision to access help takes courage and it's natural to be anxious/unsure about what to expect in your first session. Your counsellor will encourage you to talk about what brought you there, inquire about you and various aspects of your life. There is no right or wrong thing for you to say. This is a confidential, safe space to reach out for your distress. After building an understanding of your concern, counsellors may conduct assessment or ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of your concern. Other aspects of this session may include making meaning of your experiences and equipping you with tools to work through your challenges. Even if you’re feeling unsure about what exactly to speak or you’re not sure how to articulate, you still could give counselling a try.

How will I know if counselling is helping me?

You can yourself check how you feel during and after your sessions with the counsellor—do you feel understood? Does counselling feel like a safe space? Do you get insights and practical tips to deal with your concerns?

At the same time, it's essential to remember that experiencing massive changes overnight is unlikely. We often engage in the same behaviours and thought patterns for years. So, for them to change also requires sustained effort over a period of time. Think of it as similar to going to the gym! We don’t expect our body to look drastically different in one session and understand that getting fitter is a process. Similarly, having realistic goals and working towards them is important during counselling. Notice the smaller gains- you may not have completely stopped a behaviour but reduced it, the intensity of your emotions may have reduced, you may be feeling like you have better tools now! You can even map your progress in counselling from time to time with your counsellor to reflect upon how the process has been for you.

What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist has a medical degree who has then specialized in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are doctors and are qualified to prescribe medication and diagnose. IIT Hospital has psychiatrists to deal with concerns that require medication. Psychologists and counsellors are trained in various talk therapies, somatic therapies, art- based therapies, psychological testing, etc. and do not prescribe medication.

Will I be prescribed medication?

Not everyone who accesses help for mental health is prescribed medication. In cases where the concern is severe and especially affecting one’s regular functioning, medicine can be of help. In case you do need medication, your counsellor can suggest meeting the psychiatrist and explain the process to you.