March 25, 2019
The app is an attempt to empower students and parents to knock out examination stress.
It is that time of the year when exam stress takes over. In its efforts to help students and parents cope with anxiety and depression caused due to exams, the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar (IIPHG), has launched a mobile application titled 'Conquer Exam, Be a Warrior'. After working in collaboration with the National Mental Health Program, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat, the developers realized the importance of seeking help from a professional expert, in trying times.
"The app is an attempt to empower students and parents to knock out examination stress," says Somen Saha, associate professor at IIPHG and principal researcher of the initiative. While the app is currently available in English, there are plans to incorporate Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi language in the future.
Users are encouraged to answer a questionnaire through a tab called 'dot your apprehension' to assess the stress levels. Separate components are available for parents and students. "If they are at a higher risk of stress-related problems, the app advises them to seek counseling or dial Jeevan Aastha, which is a toll-free number for professional counseling. Users can access this helpline pan India though it is a Gujarat government initiative," says Saha, who worked with Deepak Saxena, professor-epidemiologist, Apurva Kumar Pandya, counseling psychologist, and Rutu Trivedi, a clinical psychologist.
"We have conducted sensitization and training workshops with paramilitary forces to understand the patterns of stress. We also sampled students under the National Mental Health Program, and the results were used while working on the app," says Saha.
The app also features the identification of traits such as fear, life satisfaction, and burnout. "It is not just a body of experts doling out exam preparation advice but based more on real-life experiences. For instance, the app reminds students to stay motivated and enables them to share their memorizing tips, write their success stories or a funny school anecdote. Parents can also share tips and personal experiences to help fellow parents to empower them," Saha says. He clarifies that the app is not a chat platform, but an interactive medium where students can share their stories that are reviewed by a panel of psychologists.
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