The recent suicide of a 20-year-old Navy trainee, Aparna Nair, at INS Hamla has highlighted the growing concerns surrounding mental health, especially among the youth. This is not an isolated incident as previously a 16-year-old boy took the extreme step after his father denied giving him a mobile phone to play games. Similarly, 21-year-old Prakash Jha from Borivali reportedly ended his life after succumbing to the pressure of unemployment.
Statistics raise alarm
The disturbing cases of Nair, Jha and the teen have sparked questions about the alarming rate of suicides among individuals in their late teens and early twenties. According to Mumbai police statistics, 18 suicides were reported in the city between January to October this year and 78% of the cases were solved. The figure stood at 15 in 2022 and motives in 87% cases could be ascertained back then. In 2021, Mumbai recorded 25 suicides and the death-driving reasons in 80% cases were detected. Likewise, there were 19 suicides in 2020 and 74% of cases were solved. However, there is a lack of data regarding the age group of the deceased.
What Psychiatrist say
Psychiatrist Dr Sagar Mundada linked the surge in suicide cases to reduced tolerance levels in youth and difficulties in coping with relationship losses and academic stress. He further pointed out that peer pressure exacerbated by constant social media comparisons, contributes significantly to increased negativity and diminished self-confidence among the youth. Dr Mundada also underscored the role of drug addiction as a major factor affecting teenagers, emphasising the need to address any form of addiction at a young age.
Throwing his weight behind the idea of nurturing children in a way that prepares them for life's uncertainties, the psychiatrist warned against stressing kids with undue expectations emanating from social media. The worrying trend calls for increased awareness, support, and mental health initiatives for young individuals on part of the society as a whole.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, seek help here: | Mental Health Helplines | |