India’s Dental College Appoints Its First Clinical Psychologist

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India’s Dental College Appoints Its First Clinical Psychologist

Five years have passed since a student of BYL Nair college, died by suicide and a significant mental health crisis emerged in a dental college in India. The first appointment of a clinical psychologist was made by Dr. Neelam Andrade, the dean of the Nair Dental college and this move is welcomed as it will lead to the appointment of clinical psychologists in dental colleges nationwide. Suicide is just the tip of the iceberg, there are multiple layers of mental health issues lying beneath the iceberg, like peer pressure, adjustment issues, anxiety, depression, stress management, insomnia, and time management to name a few.

So, who is a clinical psychologist and how will the clinical psychologist help? He or she has an MPhil in clinical psychology from an RCI-recognized institute and will help students by talking to them about the aforementioned issues and giving interventions wherever possible.  Interventions could range from cognitive behavioral therapy to talk therapy to psychotherapy to mindfulness-based interventions and wherever required referring the case over to psychiatrists who can deal with another form of intervention called pharmacotherapy which may include the prescription of antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants (like Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro), etc. Also, let me warn you here that these drugs are a class of Schedule H prescription drugs that cannot be purchased over the counter without a prescription, hence you need a proper diagnosis by a psychiatrist.

Now, let us look at as to why students in their rookie years (first and second year of college) are vulnerable to mental health issues. It could be because of the change in their protected school environment to an open college environment, where there is no particular mentor to guide them. Also, not matching up to expectations from parents could be an addendum to the already going issues. However, poor grades in early semesters can garner unwanted attention from their peers which they aren’t able to discuss with anyone. Sometimes, it could be the economic crisis they have been facing, although the government has certain schemes and scholarships for meritorious students but what about the average performers who belong to marginalized sections of society and cannot afford their professional dental degree and have a fear mind that they will have to quit any time. The fear of quitting can lead to a molehill of ideas in the brain and can lead to suicidal ideations, but who will come to their rescue in those times, hence the need for a clinical psychologist and a 24X7 suicide helpline that will cater to these emergencies and give a psychological first-aid in the need of the hour.

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Psychologs Magazine

India's First Psychology Magazine 

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