Suicide on campus: Ragging and peer pressure to excel

Lata Jain

The alarming rise in the suicide cases of students from Telanagana and Andhra is a reason for concern. This clearly shows that there is an absence of suicide prevention mechanism in our colleges.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students. And one of the major causes for suicide among college student is untreated depression.

College can be a difficult transition period in which students may feel lost, lonely, confused, anxious, inadequate, and stressed. Ragging and peer pressure to excel and score the best grades are becoming the two major reasons for suicides among the student community.

College life is an important experience during the developmental transition to adulthood. Loneliness and poor social adjustment are known to contribute to college dropout, depression, and suicidal ideation in this population expresses Dr.shastry college professor.

There are several causes for adolescent suicides. In many cases, suicides relate to fear of performing badly in exams. The high number of suicides among Indian adolescents results mostly from the extreme pressure from their families to perform well in school and excel in their studies. In addition to those pressures, teenagers experience feelings of isolation and loneliness which make them prone to attempt suicide.

Because students spend a substantial amount of time at school under the supervision of school personnel, school staff should be trained on the importance of risk factors and warning signs of suicidal behavior. At the same time, there should be increased communication among parents, teachers and school staff. They should meet on a regular basis and understand if the child is expressing any such symptoms.

Every 38 seconds someone attempts to commit suicide.  It is also the third-leading cause of death among the ages of 15 to 24 and, in light of the recent suicides due to ragging and burden of education and expectations from parents; many are finally taking notice of this tragedy. The National Crime Record Bureaus accidents and suicides in India reports show that 1, 31,906 students had committed suicide last year.

According to professionals in the field of psychology, the biggest mistake a person can make in dealing with suicide, is brushing off suicidal threats as a joke.

“People always leave signs as to whether they are going to kill themselves or not,. “We may not always understand why, but we can do something about it. “Say psychologist.

Parents tend to say that social media is dangerous but there are definitely some children who are saved by it.”

A good approach would be the creation of “Crises Response Teams” (CRT) made up of representatives from the students, the parents and the school administration, in charge of looking after students who exhibit behavior of concern.

Another reason for suicides among students is the thrust on the students by parents. The school education department plays a major role and should rope in psychiatrists and academicians to determine the aptitude of the child in the final years of schooling and the academic course they need to choose for the future.

Combined effort the state health and the state education department can play a major role to counsel depressed students and reprimand the thought of suicide.

What can parents do? 

  • Stay in touch with your college kid. Freshmen especially need to know that the family support they relied on through childhood is still there, even long distance.
  • Chat by phone, IM or Skype
  • Send care packages. Gifts, goodies.
  • Visit occasionally
  • Be a calming voice when things get rough
  • Do not undervalue the importance of sleep, diet, exercise and de-stressing activities.
  • Familiarize yourself with the student health and mental health services available on campus, so you can remind your child of the support available on campus.
  • Be sensitive to the signs of stress.

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