by Lai Beng Keong
In Universiti Sains Malaysia, students are not aware of the importance of addressing their personal mental health. They do not know which is the proper channel to voice out their mind and which counsellor to seek for to solve their psychological problem. The consequences of this may result in emotional responses such as social isolation and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, and health risk behaviors such as smoking and drinking.
A web-based system is created to solve this problem which is related to the mental health issue of students in University Sains Malaysia. The system created is relevant to the issue faced by students as the students in USM still use the traditional way of setting up appointments with counselors. Many of the students feel that it is shameful to be counselled by counsellor.
With this system, students can never worry about the appointment issue, and they can choose the preferred counsellor that they feel comfortable with. Students are given a choice to choose whether they prefer online counselling or face-to-face counselling. A special virtual room is set up for the counsellor and student, based on the booking slot chosen by the student. Undeniably, this simple yet innovative system can help to lessen the depression issue in USM in the long run.
A collaboration discussion between USM Counselling Departments was set up in May and June to further discuss the deployment of the system to USM. The system currently runs on AWS cloud with traffic load balancing and auto-scaling. Once it is commercialized in USM, the data will be migrated to USM in house server for privacy purposes. For upcoming improvement, this system will expand to mobile applications instead of just web based.