Suicide prevention in children
Created by Payal Updated on Sep 12, 2012
Rouvan is just a statistic now, one of those lakhs who lose their life at their own hands in our country every year.
Here are some shocking facts (Source: WHO)
1.India has among the world’s highest suicide rates
2.Suicides are highest in the 15- 29 age group. 40% of male suicides and 60% women were in this age group.
3.Suicides are higher in southern India which has higher rates of education and has more social welfare
4.Chennai has the highest teen suicides in the country. Every week one teen suicide is reported since January 2012.
5.A study in the Lancet Medical journal pegs the estimated suicides in India in 2010 to be 1,87,000.
6.There is little effort to scientifically probe the reasons and motivations of suicide in Indian youth by anyone yet.
What are the reasons put forward by psychologists for this extreme step?
The youth today are being bombarded with messages through networks, advertisements, magazines etc which gives rise to high aspirations. The skewed idea of success and happiness that they carry with them often turn to failure and disappointment when they are faced with reality. The ability to cope with this failure often leads to depression which has this extreme fatal result.Pressure to excel from parents and peers is another prime reason for Suicide while Academic trouble and relationship problems are a main cause in teen suicides.
So who was really to blame for the school boy’s death? The teachers and headmaster who punished the boy? The parents who knew no better about his mental state? Or society, where he was daily facing ridicules and insult for his punishment?
It is probably a mix of all these factors
Depression is a classic pre symptom of suicide , as parents we can catch early signs of depression and stop our children while there is still time.
- 1. First thing to look out for is verbal cues. If the child says “I will run away” or “I want to end it all”- please don’t ignore it.
- 2. Signs of material detachment (One child started giving away his things to his friends.)
- 3. Some children will show the classic signs of depression- withdrawal, excessive sadness, loss of appetite, gaining or losing weight, sleep disturbances.
What do you do if you suspect anything wrong?
- 1. The most important thing - never ever ignore any signs if it strikes you as unusual. Build communication lines with your child, even if you haven’t yet, in a way which is comfortable to him or her. Don’t avoid the word “suicide”.
- 2. Take help from a professional if you see signs of depression. Children often tend to do very well once they get psychological help.
- 3. Get to know of suicide hotlines in your locality or city. Every city now has one or more help-lines.
- 4. The first step however, is to TALK. Can you think what could have changed if only anyone in Rouvan’s environment- his teacher or friend or relative or parent, had just asked him why he was stressed?
There was a time when we were punished and sent out of the class, hit with a scale or asked to stand on benches in classrooms for any number of reasons. It was, for us, a rite of passage, a part of growing up. I don’t condone corporal punishment in schools, but when did it become ridicule for our children? What is changing in their worlds that such things are pushing them to think of death as an outlet. Do they even understand what “death” is? It is time we opened our minds and hearts to their world. It is time we wanted to know what’s going on with them.
It is time we just had that talk.
Image source : earthtimes.org
| Nov 07, 2015
Your perspective is correct .But nowadays corporal punishment is banned in almost all schools. If it is act of suicide parents have to be blamed as they put pressure on the children to a greater extent. children should be given freedom to decide and shale there own future.
| Oct 26, 2012
Agree !, it is time we just had that talk which we so avoid thinking its a taboo subject while the child may be experiencing severe stress and pressure... i guess i will bring up the topic with my child at an appropriate time. ,. thanks!