Alarming Surge in Mental Health Crisis Among Students In India Sparks Urgent Calls for Action


In a disturbing revelation, recent data has shown a staggering 65% increase in the mental health crisis among students in India. Against the backdrop of an escalating number of student suicides, the issue has prompted concerns about the psychological well-being of young minds in the country.

According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), an alarming 35,950 students lost their lives to suicide between 2019 and 2021, with 2020 witnessing a tragic event every 42 minutes, equating to over 34 students taking their own lives daily.

The surge in student suicides underscores the urgent need for robust mental health initiatives and a supportive environment for students grappling with a myriad of psychological challenges.

The distressing statistics reveal that more students lost their lives to suicide than farmers in 2020, emphasizing the severity of the crisis. The suicides are not confined to a specific demographic, affecting students across premier institutions, those preparing for competitive exams, and board exams.

Mental Health Crisis Among Students In India

According to observations by PeakMind, a prominent platform focusing on equipping students for success and holistic development, there has been a 65% increase in the number of students seeking counseling in the age group of 14-20 years during the last year.

The prevalent pain points identified by students seeking help include difficulties concentrating in studies, academic distress due to performance pressure and test anxiety, fear of failure, lack of motivation, disturbed sleep, recurring negative thoughts, self-doubts, low energy, relationship issues, and general anxiety about their future.

Digital and social media addiction has been identified as a major factor hindering students’ ability to concentrate, along with a lack of effective guidance. PeakMind’s data, collected from January to December 2023, paints a concerning picture of the challenges faced by students in their daily lives.

Neeraj Kumar, Founder and CEO of PeakMind, expressed concern over the alarming suicide numbers, highlighting the inadequacy of society in providing an emotionally supportive and intellectually enriching environment for individuals to thrive.

Kumar emphasized the importance of preventive care, particularly for young adults dealing with the overwhelming demands of education, career, and relationships. While acknowledging the positive trend of increasing numbers seeking expert help, Kumar stressed the need for technology to identify vulnerable youth early on and provide customized care and support.

PeakMind, having assisted more than one lakh students and establishing collaborations with leading educational institutes, aims to foster both success in competitions and overall holistic development.

The organization’s observation underscores the growing recognition among young adults regarding the importance and impact of counseling on their psychological well-being.

In response to the surge in student suicides, the Union Ministry of Education (MoE) has developed the draft UMMEED (Understand, Motivate, Manage, Empathize, Empower, Develop) guidelines, with ‘Every Child Matters’ as the guiding principle.

The guidelines prioritize the establishment of School Wellness Teams (SWT) to identify vulnerable students showing warning signs and provide crucial support. Additionally, the guidelines emphasize protective factors such as developing positive self-esteem, encouraging peer support, and enhancing students’ life skills and resilience to navigate conflicts, failures, and rejection.

Addressing this critical issue requires active collaboration between the private and government sectors to create a safe and conducive environment for healthy psychological development and support.

The draft UMMEED guidelines, if implemented effectively, could pave the way for positive change, with the potential to reduce the alarming rates of student suicides and cultivate a mentally resilient younger generation. The impact of such measures is expected to be promising over time, providing hope for a brighter future for India’s youth.

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