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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Aasra in Times Of India, Pune Mirror, Bangalore mirror Sept 2015

‪#‎SuicidePreventionFortnight1to15Sept‬ ‪#‎WorldSuicidePreventionDay10thSept‬

Students seek out helplines to ease woes

Navi Mumbai: When Nilikesh Sachdev, a Class X student needed guidance to tide over board examinations, he knew his parents would be of little help. The parental pressure to fare well was giving him sleepless nights. A classmate told him about the board helpline. "I called them and they made me look at the exams objectively," he said. While he admits that the stress has not vanished, the chat helped ease things.

At Koparkhairane's Aasra Centre, a team of around twenty volunteers counsel around 60 students a day. "We get the maximum amount of calls from January to July. Our volunteers work in shifts to man the lines," said founder Johnson Thomas. He added that they get a lot of calls from students contemplating suicide "The solution is to talk them out of it and help them get rid of the idea that suicide is a solution," he said.

While exam time might be a worrisome period for students, it is also a busy time for counsellors at these helpline centres. Around 100 students call everyday at the Vashi board helpline. "The board helpline runs from 8am-8 pm and the maximum work involves calming the students," said counsellor Mukesh Dangat. He added that parents need to ease up a bit. 

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