Gazing around the empty room and suffocating walls, I typed ‘How to commit suicide’ on Google and the first result that appeared was the contact number of Aashra Helpline. I am a strong girl wrapped in untold stories of dark phases of life. The society perceives me as a confident and happy girl, but when I enter my room I ask myself if life is worth living. Maybe that night the voice of a stranger sitting far away from me, convinced me to give life a chance but I wonder why there is an absence of voice near to us.
The University of Delhi provides free counselling sessions to students and faculty members to help them cope with stress. At present, the ‘Mind Body Centre’ located in DU’s North Campus offers face-to-face counselling to girl students and faculty members. The helpline that was started by DU in 2015, however, caters to queries and offers therapy to all students irrespective of gender. However, has the helpline helped is significantly impacting mental health amongst students?
Despite similar services offered to students, almost every year approximately five students of the University commit suicide due to various reasons ranging from rejection in love, poor academic performance, family issues, and depression. The lack of professional counselling centers in colleges can be seen as a prime reason behind this. Moreover, the lack of awareness of such services in the student community is partially responsible for creating these issues. More often than not, a student looks for a listening ear and non-judgemental atmosphere.
Every hour, one student commits suicide in India, according to the 2015 data (the latest available) from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). In 2015, the number of student suicides stood at 8,934. In the five years leading to 2015, 39,775 students killed themselves. The number of attempted suicides, many unreported, is likely to be much higher. India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29, according to this 2012 Lancet report.
Speaking to a professional can help one in understanding what the student need. This can range from self-help tips and breathing exercises to a course of psychotherapy and medication. Everyone is different and will need differing levels of support.
Feature Image Credits: HR Review