As many as 11,396 children (below 18 years) have died by suicide in the year 2020, taking out an average of 31 minor deaths per day, according to the data furnished by the government in Parliament on Tuesday.
"As per available information [by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)], the total number of suicide committed by children (below 18 years) during the last three years were 9431 in 2018, 9613 in 2019 and 11396 in 2020," Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
The government did not furnish the data of suicide by minors in the current year.
The Minister said the Education Ministry has undertaken a proactive initiative, named 'Manodarpan' covering a wide range of activities to provide psychosocial support to students, teachers and families for Mental Health and Emotional Well being during the Covid outbreak and beyond.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP from Tamil Nadu, T. R. Paarivendhar, in his question, had asked the government whether there was any rise in the cases of child suicide in the past three years.
Minister Mishra informed that a webpage for 'Manodarpan' has been created on the website of the Ministry of Education, which contains advisory, practical tips, posters, videos, do's and don'ts for psychosocial support, FAQs and online query system.
Further, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has started 'NCERT Counselling Services for School Children' in April, 2020 to help school students across the country share their concerns. This service is provided free of charge by about 270 counsellors across different regions of the country, the government added.
The Minister further stated that mental healthcare services have also been added in the package of services under Comprehensive Primary Health Care under Ayushman Bharat-HWC Scheme. Operational guidelines on Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders (MNs) at Health and Wellness Centres (HWC) have been released under the ambit of Ayushman Bharat.
Mishra apprised that the Ministry of Women and Child Development has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NIMHANS to establish a National Initiative & Integrated Resource Centre for Child Protection, Mental Health, and Psychosocial Care named "SAMVAD" at NIMHANS, at Bangalore.