Student Support Centre


Caring through Conversations

FAQ

1) How do I know if I need help?

At various times, all of us have experienced distress or felt overwhelmed, sometimes because of certain events, and at other times for no specific reason known to us. And very often, we do need help.

If you identify with any of the following statements, you should definitely seek professional advice.

  • Most of the time these days, I don’t feel like myself.
  • I’ve lost someone (or something) important to me and I’m having trouble coping with it.
  • Something terrible happened to me and I can’t seem to put it behind me.
  • I feel sad and/or angry most of the time.
  • I feel unwell but the doctor says that I’m healthy.
  • I’m sleeping much less/more than I usually do and it’s affecting my life.
  • I don’t enjoy the things that I used to earlier.
  • I have some disturbing thoughts that I cannot seem to control.
  • I’m having trouble concentrating.
  • I’m trying to change something about myself but I’m not able to.
  • I have recurrent stress and anxiety about my academic work
  • I feel socially isolated and disconnected
  • I find it hard to manage my daily life without consuming certain substances
  • I feel that I am on social networking and/or gaming sites more than I should be



2. What sort of help will I get?

Your well-being and comfort is of prime importance to us. We could help you meet a therapist or a doctor, or put you in touch with relevant departments in KMC. Please let us know your concerns and we will do our best to address them.

You can expect the following from us:

  • Complete confidentiality
  • Friendly, warm, non-judgmental atmosphere, and minimal paperwork
  • Sessions with trained and competent clinical psychologists
  • Consultations with visiting psychiatrists, when required and with your consent, in the comfort of a private space away from the hospital
  • Any guidance or referrals you need for other health services offered to students at Manipal
Most importantly, we are here to assure you that you are not alone.



3. Who will hear about my meeting with SSC?

Nobody, unless you wish SSC to get in touch with someone and keep them in the loop about your situation. Your confidentiality and privacy is of the utmost importance to us.



4. Will the college authorities/ parents/ teachers/ friends/ my peer group etc. be informed that I sought help from SSC?

No, not unless there is a specific person that you guide SSC towards informing, none of the mentioned will be contacted about your therapy and treatment without your permission.



5. How much will I have to spend for the help I get at SSC?

All therapy sessions and medical consultations at SSC are covered by Medicare, your student health insurance, and you will not have to pay anything to SSC.



6. Will I be prescribed medicines?

We are here so that you can talk to someone neutral and professional. You will not be directed to a doctor or prescribed medicines till the full extent of your situation is discussed and understood. Please note that you will not be forced to take any medication against your consent. If your therapist feels that you may require medical intervention for your well-being, it will be discussed with you and the decision to continue the sessions will be yours.



7. How am I sure I qualify for an appointment?

If you are not feeling well in any capacity, and you just want to drop in and have a chat with our SSC team, you are also welcome to do that. However, for specific questions about how to determine if you need help, please see this.



8. What if my appointment clashes with class timings?

At present, the Centre is open from 9 am to 8 pm. With time, and with more personnel, we hope to stay open for longer hours. In any case, there will be several time slots to choose from depending on the availability of experts. If it is an emergency, we will do our best to give you the nearest possible time slot. For regular sessions, your schedule will be taken into consideration as much as possible.



9.Do I have to inform my teachers about my visit/ (s) to the SSC?

Not unless you wish to do so. You are free to discuss your relationship with SSC to anyone you like, but only if you feel compelled to do so. At no point will the SSC team put any pressure on you to do so.



10.Will this reflect on my academic records?

No. All records at SSC are confidential (only for documentation and treatment purposes) and not linked to hospital records, though it will be covered by your student insurance (Medicare). Your visits at SSC will not be part of your academic transcripts or records in any way.



11.What does therapy involve? What will happen during my sessions?

Talking to someone who is trained to listen, guide, and treat is known to be an effective way to address many emotional, mental, and physical challenges. It always helps to get another perspective on our thoughts from a neutral trained professional. The nature of sessions depends on the individual therapist and your requirements, and you should always talk about your comfort or discomfort openly to the therapist. If deemed necessary, the therapist might recommend relaxation sessions or group sessions. Again, the choice to be there, to seek any help offered to you, is always yours.



12.Do I get to choose the therapist I want to talk to?

The Centre is currently being run with a small albeit talented staff and we request your cooperation in scheduling meetings. Our effort will be to get you a meeting with the therapist of your choice, but in some instances, and depending on the urgency of the situations, you may be requested to talk to an available therapist. If you are already seeing one of our therapists, you can continue to do so with advance appointments.



13.Won’t people look at me differently if they know I visit a therapist?

There is no denying that there is peer pressure and social judgment around any mental health difficulties, but there is also no denying that this needs to be questioned and that the situation is fast changing. It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to ask for help. Everybody has some form of anxieties and everybody struggles at some time in their life. Surely this is reason enough to treat psychotherapy on par with any other treatment we seek for our health. The stigma is more self-perceived than in our surroundings. However, acknowledging the difficulties of visiting the hospital and in an effort to be sensitive to your concerns about privacy, SSC has been set up in a separate and private building.



14.What if I don’t believe in psychotherapy?

Kindly keep in mind that an important part of psychotherapy is about finding the right therapist for our temperaments and needs. Very often, when this does not happen, people tend to question any kind of ‘talking cure’. The only way to know if something works for you is to come to our Centre with an open mind and talk to us.



15.What if my friend is in distress?

  • Talk privately. Take your friend aside, share your concerns, and ask them directly if anything is troubling them.
  • Trust your instinct. If you feel that your friend is distressed, they probably are. Reach out to them or enlist the support of others. If you feel that your friend may be at risk of harming themselves or others, ask direct questions. Mentioning the word ‘suicide’ does not plant the idea in someone else’s mind.
  • Listen. Sometimes just having someone to vent out to can do wonders. Listen attentively and with sensitivity.
  • Do not judge. Your friend’s problem may seem insignificant to you, but to them it’s real. Acknowledge that and do not undermine their pain.
  • Seek help. Encourage your friend to seek professional help and point out that seeking help is a sign of strength and courage, rather than weakness or failure. If your friend is contemplating suicide, don’t promise to keep it a secret. Reach out to other mature adults who can help. If the danger to self is imminent, do not leave them alone; seek help immediately.
  • Recognize your limits. You can offer support but you may not be able to solve your friend’s problem. Ensure that you clarify expectations and maintain clear boundaries. If you feel overwhelmed, enlist the support of others.



16.How do I know when I am addicted to alcohol or drugs or any other substance?

Nobody drinks, smokes, or takes recreational drugs in order to be an addict. In fact, most will insist they are in control and they can stop anytime they want. However, pleasure can easily lead to dependence, and just as easily to addiction. Once addicted, the substance is in control, and one requires professional intervention, personal motivation, and a support system to return to holistic wellness.

If you identify with any of the following statements, you should definitely seek professional advice.

  • I frequently feel that I absolutely have to take the substance.
  • I cannot control my compulsion to take the substance, nor how much of it I take.
  • I cannot function properly when I’m abstinent.
  • I feel that I need more and more each time to get sufficiently high or be completely satisfied.
  • I seem to be neglecting or losing interest in all other activities.
  • Sometimes I need a drink as soon as I wake up to feel alright.
  • Other people have told me that I have a substance abuse problem.
  • I understand that my substance use is harming me and/or others.
  • I want to decrease my substance intake but I’m unable to.
  • I feel guilty about my substance use.





For medical emergency, please call – 0820 2923154/ 22246
For Ambulance services, call – 0820 2922761
Call us during office hours – 0820-2922430
Student Support Centre is open from 9am to 8pm from 1 January to 14 May and from 1 August to 14 December.
It is open from 9am to 6pm from 15 May to 31 July and from 15 December to 31 December.

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