Vikash Sharma

Blame it on academic stress, relationship issues or emotional breakdown, there is a rise in the number of suicides by students and youngsters. This seems to be a major concern as such trend is being witnessed across the country and as well as in Odisha.

On Sunday, the body of a young traffic volunteer was recovered by Lingaraj Police from his house at Surya Vihar area in Bhubaneswar. The deceased, Atulya Kumar, was Plus III student at Ekamra College. The reason behind Atulya's extreme step is still unclear.

Earlier, the entire state was shocked after a girl student ended her life allegedly for not performing well in the Class 10 board or matriculation examination on March 20, 2023. The deceased hailed from Jajpur district. The family members claimed that their daughter was attending two tuitions and they only had asked why she could not perform well in two subjects.

The girl student subsequently ended her life by hanging herself with a dupatta inside her house.

The incident could be taken as the tip of the ice-berg. There are several other instances where a number of students chose to end their lives for multiple reasons.

On April 30, a Plus III girl student who had gone missing three days back was found dead under mysterious circumstances at Gangasagar in Bolangir’s Patnagarh. The girl was found hanging from a tree on a farmland near Gangasagar village. She was a student of Patnagarh Jawaharlal College and staying in rented accommodation for the last two years.

While it is yet to be ascertained whether the case is a murder or suicide, the police have launched a detailed probe.

A girl student was found hanging in her hostel room of a private college under Chandaka Police limits in Bhubaneswar on April 18, 2023. The deceased, Archana Das, was a second-year student of the B.Sc Data Science department. Family members claimed that Archana could not end her life by suicide as she had returned from home a day after her exams.

Also Read: Rising cases of youths, celebrities killing self in Odisha: Health expert cites reasons

Psychiatrist Dr Amrit Pattajoshi said there could be multiple factors contributing to the increasing number of student suicide cases. Among the several factors, academic pressure, mental health issues, isolation or loneliness, substance abuse and relationship problems and lack of support could be prominent reasons behind the rise in suicides by youngsters.

According to Pattajoshi, detecting early signs could play a crucial role in providing a cushion for youngsters to open up on what they are going through.

Here Are Some Warning Signs

Verbal Cues: If the person talks about- Wanting to die or kill themselves

Experiencing unbearable pain

Seeking revenge

Behavioral Cues

Past suicide attempt

Drug/ alcohol abuse, or relapse after a period of recovery

Sleeping too much or too little

Isolating from friends and family

Stockpiling pills/poison

Co-occurring depression, mood disorder

Unexplained anger, aggression, and irritability

Emotional Cues

Sudden mood swings

Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, and perceived burdensomeness

Feelings of shame/ humiliation, guilt

Feeling trapped/ thwarted

Unexplained anger, aggression, irritability, or relief

Stress, anxiety, and restlessness

Depression/low moods

Major Challenges Schools, Universities Face In Addressing Suicide, Promoting Mental Health

Insufficient number of school mental health professionals.

Lack of adequate training for dealing with children’s mental health needs.

Lack of funding for school-based mental health services

Stigma associated with receiving mental health services.

Competing priorities taking precedence over mental health Identifying children with mental health needs

Lack of coordinated services between schools and community