Mpower Unveils COPE: Empowering Students to Champion Mental Health in Colleges

Spotlights: Engaging Street Plays Across 6 States for World Suicide Prevention Day

· Mpower an initiative of Aditya Birla Education Trust works in the space of Mental health. This year it will focus its outreach towards the youth of the country

· Sets up COPE – Counselling and Outreach for Peer Empowerment, a community set up by Mpower in Colleges across 6 states that will work for the student and by the students

Bengaluru, 11th September, 2023: Amid escalating global concerns over college student mental health, Mpower, a pioneering initiative by the Aditya Birla Education Trust, has joined forces with educational institutions to drive awareness and address the pressing issue of student suicide. Commencing on World Suicide Prevention Day, students from colleges including Sambhram Institute of Technology, Bengaluru and spanning six states staged impactful street plays, shining a spotlight on the critical problem of suicide among their peers.

Mpower has also unveiled a ground-breaking initiative, COPE (Counselling and Outreach for Peer Empowerment), designed to offer much-needed support and resources for tackling mental health challenges within the student community. COPE is an entirely student-led community that represents a significant leap forward in promoting a proactive and empathetic approach to mental well-being. By fostering peer-to-peer engagement, providing guidance and counselling services, and creating a safe space for open conversations about mental health, COPE aims to empower students to seek help and support when faced with mental health concerns. COPE aims to provide a safe space, encourage awareness, enable youth-led programs, and destigmatize mental health conversations.

The compelling street plays organised as part of the World Suicide Prevention awareness and COPE launch, conceptualized by Mpower, brought together the student community and raised awareness about mental health challenges. This notable initiative commenced at the Garware Institute, situated within the University of Mumbai’s campus. Since its commencement, students from various institutions such as Sophia College and Atlas College in Mumbai, Dolphin Institute in Dehradun, B K Birla College in Kalyan, NITTE in Mangaluru, and Rungta Institute in Bhilai have performed these thought-provoking and impactful plays. The culminating play of the series will take place at PR Pote Patil Engineering College in Amravati and Indraprastha Engineering College in Delhi NCR on the 15th of September, which is also observed as Engineer’s Day.

“Mental health has long been relegated to the shadows, and it’s high time we bring it into the spotlight,” Advaitesha Birla, the Visionary Behind COPE Community said, “In the symphony of academia, it’s crucial to remember that our students are not just scholars but individuals with emotional lives that need nurturing. Mpower is committed to orchestrating a harmonious environment where mental health and well-being resonate with every student, faculty member, and staff. We’re uniting the student community and contributing to a more inclusive society through initiatives like COPE, which represents a pivotal step forward with a proactive approach to mental well-being within the student community. We’re hopeful that by encouraging peer-to-peer interactions and providing guidance and counselling services, COPE will establish a positive atmosphere where students feel comfortable addressing their mental health challenges openly and seeking assistance when required.

Students from various backgrounds came together to showcase their creative talents and emphasize the significance of mental well-being. The overarching objective of these performances has been to break the stigma surrounding mental health issues and encourage open and meaningful dialogue. The street plays serve as a crucial platform to communicate the importance of mental health and create a supportive environment for those who may be struggling.

Mpower’s commitment to the COPE community includes specialized training by our psychologists for 25 students from each college through the Youth Mental Health First Aider program. This equips them to identify and support peers facing mental health challenges. COPE will also engage students through regular activities, fostering awareness and creating a safe space for self-expression and seeking help. Furthermore, Mpower will empower these students to work towards creating mental health awareness in the college and neighbouring communities.

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