Indian scenario :
[Source: TOI, March 2008, Report]
A study (conducted 10 years back) had found that 16 per cent of Mumbai students were depressed - that is 2 per cent more than the students in Boston. It also found that 8 percent of these were suicidal.
Today, 10 years later, researchers say things could be worse.
- Statistics show that India has the highest suicide rate in the world, marginally behind China, but ahead of the west
- 95-100 people commit suicide in India every day
- And of these a whopping 40% are in the adolescent age group
[Source: CNN-IBN Report, Jan 13 2010]
Crime Records Bureau figures show India’s suicide rate has risen 8 per cent a year for 10 years. According to a 2007 estimate, 45 per cent of suicides involve people between 15 and 29. And WHO lists suicide among the top three causes of death in the age group 15-35.
The motive when students kill themselves is invariably academic pressure - this accounts for 99 per cent suicides in the age group 12-18 - but psychiatrists sought to assess why the trend has risen of late and put it down to three reasons: deprivation of sunshine, exam results, and the copycat syndrome.
Distressed teenagers account for 70 per cent of the phone calls to a helpline run by NGO Aasra, says founder Johnson Thomas.
The leading mental health institution in India, the National Institute of Mental Health and Mental Sciences in Bengaluru, has been involved in several studies to understand why the rates of people taking their own lives, particularly younger people, are on the rise.
In the last formal study conducted in 2007, the Institute found that 122,637 people ended their own lives and for every successful act, it estimated that 8-10 attempts go unreported.
Nearly three-fourths of those taking their own lives were aged 16-45 years.
Bengaluru topped the list of cities where the largest number had taken place, followed by Chennai. In New Delhi data collected from 1,205 adolescents (aged 12-19 years) in two schools revealed that, on average, one in seven adolescents had thought about ending their life.
A lack of methods to help identify youngsters at risk further hinders prevention efforts.
[Source: Guardian, Jan 28 2010]
Since the start of 2010, more than 20 students have killed themselves in Mumbai, India’s financial capital
Opportunities that have come with two decades of economic boom and open markets have also brought more job anxiety, higher expectations and more pressure to achieve, mental health experts said.
India has some of the world's highest suicide rates, with many believing the biggest risk group to be rural farmers facing debt after poor harvests.
That puts the young at high risk - a new phenomenon experts said has happened recently as more middle-class youths strive to meet achievement expectations, and new technologies like cell phones and social networking sites help break down traditional family units once relied on for support.
Overall, the report uses a national government survey of deaths in 2001-03 to estimate 187,000 suicides took place in 2010, making it the cause of 3 per cent of deaths that year.