Mumbai: Parents, doctors use WhatsApp for addressing undermined issues of medical students

Mumbai: A WhatsApp group has been created by parents of medical students and is also supported by noted psychiatrists, psychologists and medico-legal experts are slated to address undermined issues for medical students. The doctors said that it is a good platform for students to share their emotional or psychological trauma.

The group named ‘Students Mentoring Group’ has come into existence merely 48 hours post the suicide of 21-year-old Kolhapur-based Bhagyashree Mutha, a student of Nair Dental College, who was found hanging in her hostel room. Mutha had allegedly messaged her friend that she is not being able to cope up with the academic pressure. The city psychiatrists liked the idea and decided to be a part of this initiative which can help them to give an advice or consult a student to not take any step which can harm their life.

“Most of the time students do not come forward to share their problems and they fall into depression due to which they take such steps. It is an easy and yet effective initiative which can be expanded and developed into a concrete solution base to address mental health issues,” said Dr Sagar Mundada, a psychiatrist who is a part of the initiative.

The founder of this group said that aim of creating the group is to reach each and every student going through any psychological trauma or facing any problems related to academic. “We have been trying to bring all the parents and students under an umbrella to address the issues faced by our children at the medical colleges since early 2016. Somehow after the reports of (Mutha’s) suicide, everybody thought it is the need of the hour,” said Sudha Shenoy, founder of the group and mother of a medical student in Mumbai.

Dr Mundada further said that not every student is the same, while some might slip into depression because of the problem another can treat it as a minor hurdle. “Through this group, we intend to provide a channel for students to vent out their emotions and provide amicable solutions,” he added.

Till now, over 50 parents have come forth to add their children to the group. It is open only for the students, especially those from smaller cities who have come to Mumbai based on their merits to study. “They stay away from parents and sudden exposure to extremely busy and hectic schedule of the city, combined with academics, can lead to a lot of issues which they cannot discuss otherwise,” said Shenoy.

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