Help now just a call away for stressed-out students

The pre-exam helpline is operated by counsellors, mental health professionals

A pre-exam helpline Disha opened up on Saturday to help students deal with exam-related issues and stress.

Disha is a counselling service that has been in the business of helping students deal with exam stress for the past 15 years. It said that the pre-exam holidays are the most stressful for students, since this is the time pressure really begins to build up.

“Initially it is concerns about how to manage time, completing the course, fear of failing, fear of ridicule in case of failure and career confusions — these are a few of the many stressors, which, if not handled appropriately and at the right juncture can lead to various psychological symptoms and anxiety related problems,” said a representative from the counselling service.

“On Saturday we received about 70 calls, on Sunday we had about 40 and on Monday 98 calls. A lot of people have been calling in from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Dehradun and Uttarakhand. Very few calls have been coming in from Delhi. Students are already depressed and anxious. A lot of parents have also been calling in,” he added.

Disha is operated by trained counsellors and mental health professionals. The helpline will remain accessible to students from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 011-65978181 until March 3. Students in distress will receive help through telephonic and face-to-face counselling.

The helpline has been reaching out to students in times of distress since 1999 and claims to have helped 270 suicidal students so far. The organisation receives distress calls from students studying in Classes X, XI and XII. Sometimes, even Class IV students and scholars preparing for competitive exams call up. While many calls from students, parents and teachers relate to mental imbalances, others are from students who want specific information about the exams.

Disha also says that stress from board examination is mostly because it is so important for the academic future of every child. Moreover, the system hardly provides any leverage to the student for exploring his likes or dislikes, which only increases stress levels. Parents and teachers are also affected.

Disha is an effort by Snehi, an non-government organisation that works for the mental health needs of the community. It has been helping people in mental distress through counselling and other specific programmes for prevention of mental illness, with a focus on children and young people. Disha’s counselling services are confidential and free of cost.


  • The helpline will be accessible to students from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 011-65978181 until March 3
  • Students in distress will receive help through telephonic and face-to-face counselling



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