Shalamar Medical College Lahore has started combating mental health issues and it has left the students in admiration.
Anyone who is active on social media would have read about how some certain medical colleges go about their routine of breaking mobile phones or making their students stay in College even after 9pm.
Student suicides and other mental health matters are some of the matters we just do not talk about. From exam stress to pressure of doing well and the tough routine of college life leads to intolerable stress especially when many people are not aware about mental health issues.
Two things always prevalent in a doctor to be are their belief that they never get seriously sick and their belief to heal themselves whenever necessary. These things make them a hard bunch to handle during these delicate situations.
WHO estimated that over 15000 suicides were committed in Pakistan. In addition to that suicides committed by medical students isn’t something unheard of. Mental health being a very grave issue but still being a taboo makes it harder to fight it. Although presence of taboos in learning places is embarrassing but the trend of treating it as a phase is criminal.
Top universities in Pakistan have hired full time psychologists for their student body but students are reluctant to visit them out of the fear of being mocked. Shalamar Medical and Dental College found a way around it.
SMDC introduced a ‘mentor mentee’ program where students are divided into a group of 10 and are appointed a mentor who are head of their respective departments. Any mentee may visit their mentor anytime for any advice or help in anything that is troubling them so the burden on their shoulders may loosen a little.
To end the taboo the first step taken was to make the student council members lead by example and meet their mentor’s one on one to discuss their problems. After that the time table was tailored in such a way that students will forever be ending their week on a high note with a One and a half hour session with their mentors.
The response from the student body has been positive so far. We hope that this program continues and gives positive results for the students at Shalamar.