A helpline for mental wellness in Coimbatore

With fears of recession and job cuts, the youth in ­Coimbatore are under more stress now than before the Covid pandemic. To fight depression, anxiety and stress, a mental health cell is offering counselling through a helpline number on the district Rotaract portal, rotaract3201.org. “The helpline also fixes appointment with doctors and psychiatrists for patients in need of diagnosis and treatment,” says A K ­Thanghapantieyaan, aka Thangha, district secretary, correspondence, at RID 3201.

Participants of a painting workshop at the Project Talent Hub.
Participants of a painting workshop at the Project Talent Hub.

A weekly Project Talent Hub opens up opportunities for Rotaractors in RID 3201 to hone and exhibit their skills in various fine arts such as singing, dance, drawing and painting, stage plays and acting to the public at large. “Right now, we have 50 Rotaractors who are actively involved in showcasing their talent and in the coming months, we will attract more members as the project is gaining traction with good attendance from the public,” he says.

Pleased with the success of the three-day RYLA which groomed 50 Rotaractors including 12 from the Philippines and Nepal in leadership qualities and skill sets required to face life challenges, Thangha says, “five speakers and trainers engaged the youth through interactive sessions and field games that brought out the spirit of camaraderie among them.”

In December, RC Coimbatore Texcity, his home club, hosted the third edition of Vinaithodu (touch the sky) in which Roots Group director Kavignar Kavidasan gave an inspiring talk on ‘How to reach great heights in life’. Over 300 college students took part in the lecture event and “we had received a very good response from the college ­authorities over the last three years for this motivational session.”

Rotaractors at a training session on public ­speaking provided by Rtn Pon Rathnavel.
Rotaractors at a training session on public ­speaking provided by Rtn Pon Rathnavel.

DRR Kishore Babu, who has initiated Project Talent Hub and mental wellbeing helpline, is looking forward to “launch a mega community project with the involvement of all the clubs and Rotaractors.” On the Rotaract dues, he says, “clubs are willing to pay the annual fees as members are now aware of the add-on benefits of being a Rotaractor. But membership growth is still a challenge and we will tackle it with new strategies.” The Rotaract Trainers Cell led by district secretary, admin, Mohamed Afsar guides a team of trainers-cum-club advisors. “We have training modules for clubs on how to implement programmes and give them project-specific mentorship,” says Afsar.

A Rotaractor for seven years, Thangha, an HR executive in an IT company, says with over 3,000 Rotaractors in 128 clubs across ­Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, and Idukki, Kochi, Palakkad and Thrissur in Kerala, “we are poised for rapid growth through impactful projects.”

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