Student Suicides: The Other Side of the Coin

“Life has no smooth road for any of us and in the bracing atmosphere of a high aim the very roughness stimulates the climber to steadier steps, till the legend, over steep ways to the stars, fulfils itself.” – W.C.Doane

I. Student suicides and risk indicators

Student suicides and risk indicators

Students’ suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. It’s exam time and also the time when student’s suicides peak. Students are kept under pressure to score high and gain admission into top colleges and universities. Some students end their lives being afraid of exams and low performance in exams.

Suicide is the leading cause of death among youth between the age group of fifteen to twenty four. Suicide is an important issue in the Indian context. And youth should not develop negative attitudes towards life.

Risk indicators of student suicides:

• Depression along with guilt or shame and anger
• Feelings of worthlessness and very low self-esteem
• Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
• Feelings of disaffection and isolation
• History of previous suicide attempts
• Alcohol abuse
• Talks about the pointlessness of life
• Major changes of behavior

II. Suicide and its related facts

A study conducted on student suicides reveals below facts:

Suicide and its related facts

• Statistics show that India has the highest suicide rate in the world after China. Totally 95-100 people commit suicide every day and 40% of them are adolescents.
• As per recent crime records bureau statistics, the suicide rate in India has risen 8 % a year for 10 years. WHO portrays suicide among the top three causes of death in the age group 15-35.
• 99 percent of suicides in the age group 12-18 are occurred due to the academic pressure like deprivation of sunshine, exam results, and the copycat syndrome.
• Bangalore occupied first place in suicides followed by Chennai where 1,205 adolescents (aged 12-19 years) had ended their life.
• At the ending of 2010 itself, more than 20 students ended their life in Mumbai.
• 14.5% of students in grades 9-12 seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months.
• 6.9% of students reported making at least one suicide attempt in the previous 12 months.
• 2.0% of students had made a suicide attempt that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or an overdose that required medical attention.

III. Causes of student suicides

Below causes or facts plays an important role in student suicides:

Causes of student suicides

1. Lack of proper relationships between child and parents: In the present busy life style, due to changing needs both the parents are required to adopt the employment. Due to work stress they are preoccupied with job stress, time schedules and other things. Lack of time, irregular timings and extended working hours affect parents that they can’t pay attention towards their child. They are trying to fulfill children’s needs in monetary terms but unable to provide psychological support to them.

2. Relationship between the parents and teenagers: Technology has created great impact on human lives. But it is misutilising and creating adverse effects in youth and teenagers. Parents must pay special attention to teenagers when they are using internet or mobiles.

Parents should question themselves on how much they know about

• Where do these youth go?
• What do they learn?
• What kinds of cinemas do they watch?
• How do they use computer?
• With whom do they chat?
• Who send them messages?
• Who are their friends?
• Do parents know about cyber crimes and cyber laws?
• Why do children come home late?
• What kinds of drinks do they take?

If you do not have answers to any of the above questions, take a while to think about your child activities.

3. Failure in relationships: Breakup in relationships, one side love relations cause the youth to commit suicides. Parents should take initiative to bring their child back to normal mental condition.

4. Inefficiency: Today’s parents impose great expectations on children without estimating their capacities. Some parents try to turn their childhood ambitions into reality through their children. Generally children achieve success according to their capabilities. Parents should know their children capacities and act accordingly. It is also important to provide support and encouragement if they fail in their career. It is not a positive step to insult them when they fail to acquire success which may turn them towards committing suicide.

5. Frustration and fear when they lose their career: Whatever may be the examination, the efforts taken by students are important. If they don’t get success in spite of hard work and attempts, parents should encourage them with their support and optimism. Parents should take a step ahead and discuss with their teachers to increase harmony among the relations. Parents should analyze were their children is lagging behind and why their performance is not up to the mark. Parents should be satisfied with whatever their children have achieved. Children always need love, affection and trustworthy persons so that they won’t feel lonely. Otherwise they feel that they have lost their career and with fear and frustration they will commit suicides.

6. Ragging in the colleges: Ragging is officially banned in all colleges. But an unofficial seniority show always runs in many professional colleges due to which some sensitive students commit suicide unable to bear the harassment and humiliation.

IV. How to stop student suicides?

How to stop student suicides

1. Keeping happy atmosphere at home: Every member of the family should maintain a healthy relationship between themselves.
2. Expectation should be lowered: Parents should not impose much expectation on their children. Children should be encouraged to choose their ambitions according to their capacity and talent. Parents should be pleased with them.
3. Discipline and culture: Children should be brought up with discipline and good culture. They should be taught our traditions and culture from their childhood itself. Children should grow with plenty of freedom to expand their thought procedure.
4. Yoga and music: Nowadays, Yoga is considered as a stress management tool for all age groups. Music and yoga play an important role in reducing tensions and give pleasure to mind. They are complementary to each other. Yoga will help you concentrate and get mental peace.
5. Confidence: Children should learn to face if any tough situations occur. When they grow up with confidence and good moral values they will face the difficult situations of the life with boldness.
6. Frequent meetings of Parent-teacher and child: Parents should meet teachers frequently to be aware of their children’s real position. Parents and teachers should encourage children by giving rewards whereas they should punish or scold or persuade them not to do wrong doings.

How to protect the students from suicide attempts:

• Improving problem solving skills, conflict resolution and nonviolent handling of disputes
• Providing support and self preservation to discourage suicide thoughts
• Conducting regular screening programs for depression, mental illnesses and suicide-related behaviors
• Implementing campus-wide education efforts
• Provide educational programs and materials to parents and to families of incoming and existing students

V. Some inspirational quotes

1. “Find a career that involves your passion and pursue it. At least then when you have to put in the hard work you’ll enjoy the process” – Dule Hill
2. “Relax — don’t try to make everything happen overnight. Don’t get frustrated because you’re not “there” yet. Every day is a stepping stone” – Ty Pennington
3. “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal, nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude” – Thomas Jefferson
4. “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed” – Theodore Roosevelt
5. “Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success” – Napoleon Hill
6. “Your greatest asset is your earning ability. Your greatest resource is your time” – Brain Tracy
7. “Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them” – Les Brown
8. We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we not do – Samuel smiles.


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