Supreme Court requests Centre for law to curb youth suicide rate


Indian youth, especially students below 18, are increasingly resorting to suicide.

Suicidal tendency among the youth is increasing day by day. India is a country where a substantial portion of its total population comprises youths. Ministry of Statistics reports that India has 242 million youth population between the age of 10 to 24 years.

The suicidal rate is higher among the school students. In 2015, around 33 per cent of the total suicides reported belonged to youths. There were 8908 suicide cases among children below 18 years of age, the report says. There were 3500 cases of suicides due to family problems and failure in examination. Illness and love affairs were the other big reasons for suicides, while 1280 cases were due to unknown reasons.

Given this rising case of suicides, the Supreme Court has requested the central government to make a law or provide guidelines to be followed by schools to detect and reduce suicide cases.

In other countries, there is a law to curb the increasing tendencies of suicides among youths.

Earlier, a PIL was filed by Kamlesh Haribhai Parekh, who requested the framing of a law to reduce the number of suicides. Considering the intensity of the issue, the Supreme Court has requested the Union Ministry of Human Resources and Development to frame a law.

As per the National Mental Health Survey 2015–16, there are more cases of mental disorders and depression in urban metro areas compared to the rural areas.

There are various reasons for the rising suicidal tendencies among students. The Journal of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health lists out the triggers as: stringent school timings, lack of awareness about adolescent mental health, dearth of trained professionals in schools to deal with peer pressure, and disinterest on the part of parents to address mental health issues.

Some of the symptoms of suicidal tendencies among children, which parents can observe are —  depression, anxiety, emotional outburst, high-risk behaviour, running away from home, tobacco, alcohol, suicidal ideation, and so on.

The only way to solve the issue is to identify these mental health conditions early on.  

The need of the hour is to introduce health education programmes in schools and colleges to address this issue.

Recently, the IITs have started many student wellness programmes in their campuses to reduce the suicidal tendencies among students and create a positive campus atmosphere. They have also introduced several counselling services for the student community, to advise them on issues related to their career as well as life, in general.

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