Bhubaneswar: Utkal University started off with the Webinar Series on Coping with the Multifaceted Challenges of COVID-19 for its different stakeholders in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic. The Programme is being supported by World Bank – Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence and Equity (WB-OHEPEE), Utkal University.
The first webinar in the series was organized today, i.e., 13 May 2021 on the theme Students’ Mental Health and COVID-19, looking at the academic anxiety and uncertainty related to the education and future career of the student community. More than one hundred fifty students registered for the event. Their queries and problems were addressed in this interactive webinar by the invited Resource Person Prof SPK Jena, a Clinical Psychologist from University of Delhi. Prof Jena suggested different activities and shared ideas for addressing the issues of stress, anxiety and depression among students.
In the inaugural session, Prof Sabita Acharya, Vice Chancellor, Utkal University assured the student community by requesting them to remain calm and not panic at this hour of crisis. She said that the University stands by them always in case of any problem in their academic related concerns as well as matters related to the well being of the students. She said that more such interactive webinars are in the pipeline which will address different issues arising owing to pandemic and the webinar series will cater to the needs of the students, faculty, staff, alumni and other stakeholders of the University.
Prof Nigamananda Das, Coordinator, WB-OHEPEE Programme, Utkal University gave the opening remarks by emphasizing the urgency of addressing the mental health concerns of students and other stakeholders of the University. He said that as a part of social responsibility, our university should support the capacity building of it community at the time of pandemic by promoting such webinars.
The coordinator of the Webinar Series, Prof Bhaswati Patnaik, Department of Psychology, Utkal University, emphasized that Utkal University has been spearheading the task of reaching out to different communities since the first wave of the pandemic last year and will continue to do so.