Dedicated system needed to counsel stressed students in Doon: Experts | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Dedicated system needed to counsel stressed students in Doon: Experts

The state capital has reported seven student suicides in less than two months this year, prompting experts to demand a dedicated system to counsel stressed students besides preventing the education hub from turning into a “suicide hub”

dehradun Updated: Feb 24, 2017 20:01 IST
Neha Pant
Uttarakhand News
Colleges, hostels and PGs have mushroomed on the outskirts of Dehradun. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

The state capital has reported seven student suicides in less than two months this year, prompting experts to demand a dedicated system to counsel stressed students besides preventing the education hub from turning into a “suicide hub”.

According to police record, 11 suicide cases have been reported in Dehradun this year (1 in January and 10 in February), of which seven suicides have been committed by youngsters studying in different institutes of the state capital.

The latest case has been that of a hotel management student who hanged himself to death on February 23 in Jamunwala village in Premnagar area after scoring poor marks in semester exam.

On February 21, an MCA student committed suicide in Premnagar area while a female paramedical student committed suicide in Patel Nagar area on February 14.

Attributing this trend to mushrooming of professional colleges and schools after Doon was made the interim capital of Uttarakhand in 2000, experts said there was an urgent need to ensure presence of mental health experts and counselors on all college/school campuses and disseminate helpline numbers for students.

“Students are very vulnerable and don’t have problem-solving skills which leads them into taking the extreme step in the absence of proper (psychological) support system,” Dehradun-based clinical psychologist Veena Krishnan told HT.

“While some have taken initiatives, all the colleges and schools need to come forward to carry out screening of mental health of students to identify any signs of depression, ideation towards harming self or even any other psychotic disorder for timely intervention.”

It is also crucial to find out if it is a case of reactive depression (stemming from any adverse life event like failure in studies, break-up, addiction to drugs/alcohol, family disturbances or debt) or due to some imbalance of brain chemicals, she said.

Educationist Kunal Shamshere Malla said it was pertinent to have a psychologist on campus.

“In today’s competitive times, children are often under a lot of pressure and may get dragged to a situation where they feel that ‘this is the end of the world’. Thus, not just mentors in schools and colleges, but also parents at homes need to look out for any signs of distress and tell them that they believe in them,” Malla told HT.

Last year, as many as 80 people committed suicide in Dehradun, of which 55 were men and 25 women.

When contacted, Dehradun senior superintendent of police Sweety Agarwal said police would hold meetings with principals and management of schools and colleges next week.

“We’re holding a preliminary meeting with schools/colleges wherein we will cover multifarious issues including suicides, cyber crimes, drug addiction among others that can be resolved through awareness,” Agarwal told HT.

Notably, Uttarakhand registered a whopping increase of 129.5% -- the highest in the country – in suicide cases in 2015 as compared to 2014, as per the Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2015 report by the National Crime Records Bureau.