Why the young silently slip away
Why the young silently slip away
Bushra Ali Khan
student of Mass Communication

One can hardly imagine a more stressful atmosphere where students living away from home and friends for the first time, are living with strangers, and working under excessive pressure, and particularly when depression or other mental health creeps in. Universities are experiencing a surge in student anxiety, mental breakdown and depression. Students place intense pressure on themselves to get a first-class degree or to take an extra commitment so that they can stand out from the crowd. Some can’t keep it up.

India, the worlds second most populous country of over 1 billion, has one of the highest suicide rates among those aged 15 to 29 and accounts for over a third of global suicides among women each year,and this rate has only been increasing. According to a data compiled by National Crime Records Bureau, every hour one student commits suicide in India, with about 28 such suicides reported every day. In 2018, 1.3 lakh students committed suicide, which amounts to 8% of those involved in the farming sector. The bureau also reports that the suicide rates have been tripled since the 1950s, and that suicide is the second most common cause of death amongst the students.

David Emile Durkheim, a 19th century French sociologist, believed that, ‘it was impossible to explain the patterns of suicide if it was seen solely as a personal and individual act’.There are always certain reasons attached behind a person to take such a drastic step. They may be-

  • Academic stress. Almost half the suicides in 2018 were because of ‘failure in exams’. suicides even in top level institutes such as IITs shows us the true face of the stressful education system.
  • Relationship breakdown is another leading cause.
  • Lack of adequate support. At the time of a crisis in a students life, the lack of emotional support leads the student to commit suicide.
  • High expectation of students. Often the pressure exerted by parents and peer have adverse effect on the psychological health of students which lead to suicidal tendencies.
  • Social stigma. The taboo around the discussion of mental health issues.
  • Mental issues. Anxiety disorder, depression, personality disorder etc., all these result in mental illness that further leads a student towards suicide.

Students around the country feel that their universities and colleges are failing them. They feel less in control of their lives than ever before. Communication is the key here. When communication between the students and the respondent works, it can provide valuable support. Following steps need be taken to save the young lives that matter.

  • Social awareness. The first step is to start a serious debate on the issue of suicides in schools and colleges.
  • Academic support group by college administration. This may help students to have a way of approach to get proper psychiatric guidance on dealing with the emotional and mental issues that they are experiencing in their lives.
  • Helplines by NGOs and civil society groups. This will help those who are having suicidal tendencies.
  • Use of social media groups. Nowadays one can’t help but notice the way technology is affecting our lives. Self-imposed isolation and alienation especially among the young ever increasing. But it can also be a part of the solution if we use it as a method to interact with these youngsters to fight depression, anxiety among them by addressing loneliness etc.

Student suicide is a serious and growing problem. The student years can be emotionally turbulent and stressful. They face pressures to succeed and fit in. they may struggle with self-esteem, self-doubt, and feelings of alienation which may sometimes lead to depression that of often undiagnosed and untreated. Therapists, counselors, friends and loved ones should come forward to see solutions that may otherwise not be apparent to them. Give them a chance to help.