Mental Health and Wellness Initiative

World has become a rat race of unending competition. Youth is qualified, well-placed; yet in burnout condition and unhappy from within. DME emphasizes on creating professionals who aim to be professionally qualified, skilled, physically strong & mentally well, and radiate happiness around them. In this regard DME created a Society for Mental Health – Meraki

Objectives:

  1. To sensitize students about Mental Health and Wellness.
  2. To conduct provide easy and accessible mental health support to students
  3. To equip students to manage stress and life challenges.
  4. To spread community awareness by events, workshops about Mental Health and Wellness.

What were the contextual features or challenging issues that needed to be addressed in designing and implementing this practice (in about 150 words)?

Mental Health is a stigmatized subject in India. Conversing it like common ailment and seeking help in this regard is considered a taboo.  Owing to the social judgement, youth with mental health issues do not pursue mental wellness counselling. Due to dearth of parental understanding, teenagers and graduate students entomb their sentiments making them feel helpless, turmoiled, and miserable. Devoid of access to neighbouring counselling centres, students fall prey to grave mental health problems leading to depression, addiction, and suicide.

College is a place where students spend considerable amount of time in a day. Society for Mental Health – Meraki at was established at DME with the objective to spread awareness and make it easier for students to get help within reach. Name Meraki signifies to do tasks with soul, love, and compassion. The team members work with lot of passion and soul in spreading awareness about mental health and wellness.

Describe the practice and its uniqueness in the context of Indian higher education. What were the constraints/limitations, if any, faced (in about 400 words)?

The school system is fixated on syllabus completion and board exam results adding burden on young minds. This anxious youth joins the higher education system post a grilling competitive exam. Indian higher education ecosystem largely focuses on academic excellence, placements and extra-curricular [Cultural, Sports]. This ecosystem mass produces professionally qualified workforce, entering the corporate rat race where packages, appraisals and rising in social status is focused. Current youth has forgotten to be good human but have been trained to be a skilled professional.  The Higher Education system is neglecting the need of Mental Wellness in youth at the cost of professional growth.

The vision of DME is, “To nurture an inspirational setting and a global standard of learning for students that enables their intellectual, social and personal transformation into future leaders for the benefit of the nation.” Hence focus on students’ mental health and wellness by DME is a unique initiative as it forms a balanced youth personality for good leadership and development of a happy nation. 

Challenge 1: Motivating faculty members to take up the cause was the immediate hurdle to cross since faculty already have assigned classes, ongoing research work and events to manage

Challenge 2: Creating student team for the said work at DME by inspiring students to join the cause also training them to understand and contribute in right way.

Challenge 3: Choice of location and setup for the above work at college was an initial challenge as students in need of counselling look for a place which is less crowded and away from public eye due to stated social stigma.

Challenge 4: Requirement of counsellor for professional help was raised at Director’s office since faculty members and student team can help in initial identification of those who need help but cannot provide professional counselling.

Challenge 5: Hospital involvement as and when required in teams of doctor led workshops and referencing cases for treatment which are beyond therapy.

Challenge 6: Reluctance of Parents to support in the cause as parents live in constant denial about the mental health situation of their ward.

Challenge 7: School leadership involvement to join the cause as we realized that the youth entering college in the first semester is coming with baggage of unaddressed feelings and anxiety. Hence the problem is deep rooted and it became a collective responsibility to jointly work towards this cause.

Provide evidence of success such as performance against targets and benchmarks, review/results. What do these results indicate? Describe in about 200 words.

Positive Impact of Meraki – Mental Health and Wellness Initiative

Teenagers: School Students

  • Regular sessions are several schools have been conducted to handle Board exam pressure for 10th-12th classes. This has helped students an ease of pressure building on theme to obtain high percentage.

Youth: DME Students

  • DME students participate in our workshops and open mic sessions, and they share their issues with the professionals during the sessions or in person with Dr. Ragini Singh, Psychotherapist on-campus.
  • Students who have reached for help in coping with the grief in right way post pandemic-losses, and focusing back on academics.
  • Students release a Collage Magazine – Santulan dedicated to this cause.

Adults: DME Employees

  • Employees seek help when they are facing personal loss situation.
  • Post-partum depression issues have also been resolved ensuring the name of employee is never made public.
  • COVID isolation times many employees used to connect with the counsellors to resolve their anxiety.

Corporates: Professionals

  • On the spread of positive word Meraki good work, society team has been invited by some companies to hold open-mic sessions at offices where the idea was to ease out the work pressure and build resilience

Please identify the problems encountered and resources required to implement the practice (In about 150 words).

Problems Encountered and Resources Required

Solutions and Resources Arranged

Location Resource

A cabin was identified and allocated to Create a dedicated counseling room on campus, where only one-to-one interaction will be done with confidentiality.

Time Resource

Faculty members associated with Meraki were given less workload and training sessions were held post-classes.

Team Resource

Faculty and Students have explained the cause and are motivated to join the team. This created the joining of self-motivated team members working wholeheartedly for a good cause.

Training and Development Resource

Worked towards collaborations with hospitals for the training of the Meraki Team to help in such issues.

Financial Resource

Adequate financial support by the college is with the Meraki team for the salary of the Psychotherapist and hiring of other professionals for workshops

Professional Guidance Resource

Dr. Ragini Singh, Psychotherapist & Counsellor in DME is now available to help on campus and has a regular seating

About E-magazine

Meraki came up with this initiative of its e-magazine, संतुलन: The Mental Health Bulletin, with two issues per year.  The idea is to promote and raise awareness about general and specific mental health issues through life-inspiring stories, factual and well-researched articles, movies and book reviews, etc. contributed by the students, faculty members, and guests to bring the conversations around mental health in all candour.

Volume 4
Volume 3
Volume 2
Volume 1

Introduction to Activities

We at Meraki Society for Mental Health work towards the well-being of our students. We design, construct and manage a platform that is secure and beneficial to their well-being. Our interactions have been quite helpful in reaching our goals; we have witnessed people approaching us to communicate their feelings and thoughts that were detrimental to their mental health. We constantly work to improve our understanding of and relationships with everyone we come into contact with, both within and outside of institutions. Through events and conversations, we have heightened public awareness of mental health.

  1. Orientation Cum Workshop by Meraki Society for Mental Health
    Theme: Transition from School to College

    On 4 February 2022, Meraki conducted a workshop on basic areas like Academic, Psychological and Social Competence among the students during their college and everything takes a step ahead transforming their goals from school to college lives, which was attended by110 Students from all three schools at Delhi Metropolitan Education.

  2. Coping with Traumatic Stress: Together with Peers and Mentors

    An enlightening session on, ‘Coping with Traumatic Stress: Together with Peers and Mentors’ was organized by Meraki, Society for Mental Health at Delhi Metropolitan Education in collaboration with Thrive, DME Mentoring Cell. The event held on 25th April 2022 was graced by the benign presence of our guest speaker, Ms. Anjali Mahalke – a leading Counselling Psychologist.

  3. Interactive session ‘You Are Enough’ (A Kaleidoscopic view on Mental Health) at The Berry Coworks, Jhandewalan, New Delhi
    An activity-oriented session (29 June 2022) emphasising the need for emotional catharsis, spending time with self and loved ones, pause, think and reflect which witnessed 50+ gathering of professionals present at the TBC, a leading co-working space in New Delhi.

  4. Session on ‘Adapting to changing times’

    Meraki: Society for Mental Health & Mentoring Cell, DME conducted a session on ‘Adapting to Changing Times’ on 25 August 2022 at 11:30 am in the Seminar Hall, DME. The keynote speaker of the session was Dr. Ragini Singh (A renowned Psychologist and Counsellor). This interactive session aimed to facilitate deliberations around the issues faced by students in their personal and professional lives in the dynamic times. Dr. Ragini apprised the students about accepting the changes in lives gracefully as, ‘Change is the only constant’.

  5. Regular Class Sessions with Dr Ragini Singh
    Dr Ragini Singh, the visiting Counsellor at the institute takes regular sessions for students of all the batches every Thursday. She interacts with students and addresses their concerns and prepares them to face myriad kinds of challenges in their professional and personal lives.
  6. Orientation Batch 2022

    On December 22, 2022, students and Faculty Conveners of Meraki visited all the first-year classrooms of Batch 2022 to apprise the students about society, its aims, and its objectives. They briefed about the initiatives taken by the society and also welcomed the first-year students from all the courses to be a part of the society. The students showed great interest and enthusiasm to be a part of the initiative.

  7. Exam Support and Counselling

    Examination Time can be stressful and affect your academic achievement. The signs of stress before and during examination are, having irregular sleep, the feeling of tiredness, being isolated or sad, feeling ache all over, suffering from a stomach upset, feeling of restlessness or leading a condition where you are not able to recall whatever you studied. Getting panic, when you see a question and you cannot answer and your mind goes blank. It is experienced by many normal students and it is not very mysterious or difficult to understand the ways to manage it. It can be managed easily by following a plan of helpful suggestions.

    Meraki: The society for Mental Health at DME is there to support you throughout this journey. Don’t suffer or feel anxious; communication is the key. Our endeavour is to create a safe space where all the students can freely discuss their apprehensions. At Meraki, the society members, mentors and even professional counsellors work together to extend the requisite psycho-emotional support to all the students.

  1. Academic Challenges: Managing Burnout through motivation

    Conducted on 15th February 2021, it was a virtual session organized to help the students and teachers at DME cope with the stress and mental exhaustion induced by the pandemic. Dr. Sandeep Vohra (India’s leading psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and digital emotional & mental wellness entrepreneur) with his team graced the participants with their presence as guest speakers.

  2. Tasveer-A Photograph: Pause, Click, Reflect

    On March 15th 2021, Meraki: Society for Mental Health at Delhi Metropolitan Education organized a virtual event, Tasveer-A Photograph via Zoom platform (3pm onwards). The objective of the event was to give our students an opportunity to communicate, capture and reflect their state of mind with a photograph.

  3. Mental Health Summit 2021 – Drafting Policies for Change

    On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, Meraki: Society for Mental Health at Delhi Metropolitan Education, Noida organized Mental Health Summit 2021-Drafting Policies for Change on October 10th & 11th, 2021. We witnessed policy presentations by students and scholars from various universities across India in three technical sessions.

  4. Orientation Session for BBA Batch 2021
    Ms. Tanisha Sharma, the Student Convener, Ms. Megha Mishra, student co-convener, Ms. Ambika and Ms. Tejaswini, student members addressed the new batch (2021-24) during the Orientation programme for the BBA students of Batch 2021 on the theme “Transition from School to College” was organised on       25 November 2021   attended by 150+ students of BBA batch 2021.

  1. Inaugural session of Meraki

    On 11th October, 2020 Meraki conducted its inaugural and orientation programme in the light of Mental Health day celebrated on 10th October every year. Honourable Justice Swatanter Kumar (Former Chairperson, National Green Tribunal and Former Judge, Supreme Court of India) and eminent counsellor and psychologist Ms. Shivani Misri Sadhoo (Founder & Director, Saarthi counselling services) were the keynote speakers. Many students shared the anxiety issues they faced due to Covid-isolation, home restrictions, and majorly the shift to Online Classes.

  2. Webinar with Ms. Jigyasa Tandon

    On 17th October, 2020 Meraki: society for Mental Health at Delhi Metropolitan Education, Noida in collaboration with Outreach DME-The CSR club conducted a workshop on Socio – Emotional Health of Students in Pandemic. They keynote speaker at the event was Ms. Jigyasa Tandon. 70 students from all three schools at DME plus 40 students from schools across Delhi NCR attended it.

  3. UNCAGE

    An open mic session in collaboration with Radio Intersect was organized on 30 November 2020.

  4. Transition from School to College- Challenges and Uncertainties

    Addressing the new batch 2020 on 30th December, 2020, it was a virtual event organized for audiences of different fields of study. The day saw the gracious presence of Dr. Shwetank Bansal (Eminent Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist), attended by 120 plus students from DME and DTC first year.

  5. Covid/Lockdown Counselling Support


  1. Interactive session ‘You Are Enough’ (A Kaleidoscopic view on Mental Health) at The Berry Coworks, Jhandewalan, New Delhi

    An activity-oriented session (29 June 2022) emphasising the need for emotional catharsis, spending time with self and loved ones, pause, thinking and reflecting which witnessed 50+ gathering of professionals present at the TBC, a leading co-working space in New Delhi.

On-campus full-time counsellors enable students in crises/distress to solve their problems and move ahead in life in a healthy and resilient way that in turn enhances their well-being and quality of life. Dr. Ragini Singh and Ms. Gulina Singh are available at the DME campus for mental well-being counselling. They conduct individual and group sessions for students and employees. The group sessions are conducted in the classrooms wherein they address a particular section to discuss some common issues faced by the youth in their personal and professional lives. They also hold one-to-one counselling sessions to understand the individual case requirements and counsel the concerned student/faculty. Together these counsellors offer a continuum of care for people with mental, emotional and behavioural health needs and support.

The Members of the Meraki-Mental Health Cell:

S.No

Name

Position

Mobile no.

Email id

1

Ms. Shanu Jain

Convenor

9971346735

s.jain1@dme.ac.in

2

Dr. Ragini Singh

Counseling Psychologist

9311616509

r.singh@dme.ac.in

3

Ms. Gulina Singh

Counseling Psychologist

9810786964

g.singh1@dme.ac.in

7

Mr. Gunjan Agrahari

Faculty

9369156090

g.agrahari@dme.ac.in

8

Mr. Gunjan

BBA Student

9354783729

gunjanbindal306@gmail.com

9

Mr. Kunal Atri

BBA Student

9311771405

kunalatri0908@gmail.com

10

Ms. Mansi Srivastav

BBA Student

9205083181

mansi18dec2004@gmail.com

11

Mr. Arjun Tiwary

BBA Student

9650088883

arjun.tiwary21@gmail.com

12

Ms. Ambika

Law Student

9851101327

ambikasharmadk@gmail.com

13

Ms. Prachi Kushwaha

Law Student

9354882320

prachikushwaha2002@gmail.com

14

Ms. Krishna Kant Gautam

Law Student

93545 72358

shiva.gautam2000@gmail.com

15

Mr. Arjun Tiwary

Law Student

96500 88883

arjun.tiwary21@gmail.com

16

Ms. Khushi Srivastava

BAJMC Student

6202479476

khushishri02@gmail.com

17

Ms. Krishna Goswami

BAJMC Student

9528007428

krishna7goswami77@gmail.com

18

Mr. Nikhil Gupta

BAJMC Student

9170165570

kumarnikhilgupta19@gmail

19

Mr. Aryan Gulati

BAJMC Student

9457648804

krshngulati@gmail.com

20

Mental Health Service, Noida

9311036028, 9818901685

info@yourhopeline.com

21

Meraki-Mental Health Cell DME helpline email id

meraki@dme.ac.in