Mpower, a mental health initiative by the Aditya Birla Education Trust, after introducing COPE (Counselling and Outreach for Peer Empowerment), designed to offer much-needed support and resources for tackling mental health challenges within the student community, kick-started an awareness drive on the issue of suicides.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, students from colleges spanning six states staged impactful street plays and put a spotlight on the critical problem of suicide among their peers as part of awareness drive on the issue, which has caught attention with a spate of unfortunate incidents among students in recent times. The overarching objective of these performances has been to break the stigma surrounding mental health issues and encourage open and meaningful dialogue. The street plays serve as a crucial platform to communicate the importance of mental health and create a supportive environment for those who may be struggling.
This initiative formally commenced at the Garware Institute in the University of Mumbai’s campus and students from various other institutions such as Sophia College and Atlas College in Mumbai, Dolphin Institute in Dehradun, B K Birla College in Kalyan, NITTE in Mangaluru, and Rungta Institute in Bhilai, Sambhram Institute of Technology, Bangalore have replicated these thought-provoking and impactful plays. The culminating play of the series will take place at PR Pote Patil Engineering College in Amravati and Indraprastha Engineering College in Delhi NCR on the 15th of September, which is also observed as Engineer’s Day.
COPE is an entirely student-led community that promotes a proactive and empathetic approach to mental well-being. By fostering peer-to-peer engagement, providing guidance and counselling services, and creating a safe space for open conversations about mental health, COPE aims to empower students to seek help and support when faced with mental health concerns besides providing them provide a safe space, encourage awareness, enable youth-led programs, and destigmatize mental health conversations.
Mpower’s commitment to the COPE community includes specialized training by our psychologists for 25 students from each college through the Youth Mental Health First Aider program. This equips them to identify and support peers facing mental health challenges. COPE will also engage students through regular activities, fostering awareness and creating a safe space for self-expression and seeking help. Furthermore, Mpower will empower these students to work towards creating mental health awareness in the college and neighbouring communities.
“We’re uniting the student community and contributing to a more inclusive society through initiatives like COPE, which represents a pivotal step forward with a proactive approach to mental well-being within the student community. We’re hopeful that by encouraging peer-to-peer interactions and providing guidance and counselling services, COPE will establish a positive atmosphere where students feel comfortable addressing their mental health challenges openly and seeking assistance when required,” says a spokesperson of the initiative.