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Dhaka Tribune

DU counselling centre: Providing support to students in need

  • The service is available in all five halls of the girl dormitories
  • A total of 1,340 students utilizes the services
  • Counselling services at DU are delivered through a comprehensive approach
Update : 21 Mar 2024, 12:01 AM

The Office of Student Guidance and Counselling at Dhaka University was established in 1963 with the aim of offering mental health support to students. 

Over the past four years (2019-20 to 2022-23 sessions), a total of 1,340 students have utilized the services, attending a combined total of 5,222 sessions.

Although there are mental service centres in several university halls, the coverage is not uniform, with only two – Bijoy Ekattor and Amar Ekushey – out of the thirteen halls for boys having these centres.

On the other hand, the service is available in all five halls of the girl dormitories.


The counselling office has an array of initiatives to support its student body. 

Among these efforts is an introductory program tailored for undergraduate students, aimed at familiarizing them with available resources and services. 

Additionally, the office produces and distributes a detailed booklet titled “Dhaka University Introduction”, which serves as a comprehensive guide covering various aspects such as service locations, available support, and legal assistance. 

Central to its function is the provision of counselling services by trained professionals, catering to students' diverse needs and often through referrals from advisors or voluntary participation. 

The office also facilitates part-time employment opportunities to assist students in managing their educational expenses. 

Furthermore, it actively engages in commemorating important events like World Mental Health Day and World Suicide Prevention Day. 

Workshops are regularly organized to foster personal development among students, alongside the implementation of initiatives like the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Program. 

Additionally, the office extends support to visually, hearing, and other physically challenged students through stipend provisions. 

Student advisors are recruited to offer peer support, while counsellors and psychologists undergo training to enhance their skills. 

Moreover, the office hosts various workshops and training sessions with the overarching goal of improving the mental health and well-being of the student population.

How the service is provided

Counselling services at Dhaka University are delivered through a comprehensive approach that addresses personal, emotional, social, vocational, and educational issues faced by students. 

Counsellors work closely with clients to raise awareness of their needs and positive aspects while helping them modify their thinking, feelings, and behaviours according to individual requirements. 

By identifying and nurturing various talents and skills, counsellors aim to instil confidence in students. 

Services are tailored to specific needs and are offered under different names such as "social skills" for interpersonal interactions, "stress management" to handle stress, "anger management" to address negative aspects of anger, self-defense techniques, and assertiveness strategies.

What students say

According to the counselling centre, students come to avail the service mainly to overcome relationship problems. 

Apart from this, there are family problems and adjustment problems after admission in different departments. Career related problems are common as well.

According to available data, an average of approximately 450 students seek counselling services from the centre each year. 

However, there are mixed reviews among students regarding the quality of the services provided. While some students praise the centre's services, others express dissatisfaction with the benefits received.

A student who utilized the counseling service during the 2019-20 session spoke positively about his experience. He appreciated the attentive listening and valuable advice provided by the counsellor regarding his personal problems. However, he mentioned discontinuing the service due to religious concerns.

On the other hand, a student from the 2017-18 session, who engaged with the counselling office in 2023, shared a less favourable experience. Despite being listened to and receiving guidance for four weeks, the student claimed no improvement in their mental health, expressing dissatisfaction with the service.

Another student from the 2020-21 session commended the quality of service. He said: "Personally, I have benefited from the service here. At present I am completely healthy.”

What authorities say

Deputy Director and Counsellor Faizunnessa Zaman said various workshops are conducted with student advisors from different departments and institutes. 

“Through this, the student advisors are advised not to make any negative comments after listening to the problems of the students, listen to their problems carefully, and refer them to the counselling office as needed,” she said.

Additionally, seminars on mental health are regularly held in different halls across the university, Faizunnesa Zaman said.

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