This will be in addition to existing 24-hour dedicated phone line to help prevent suicides

SNEHA, an organisation working towards the prevention of suicides, has launched another helpline 24640060 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.), in addition to their existing 24-hour helpline, 24640050.

The new helpline has been launched to exclusively address student stress following the announcing of examination results.

According to volunteers at SNEHA, every year, when examination results are announced, more than 2,000 students in the 15-25 age group, commit suicide when they realise they have failed.

In 2010, a total of 2,479 students committed suicide across the country. Of these, 240 suicides were reported in Tamil Nadu and 23 were from Chennai, says P.V. Shankar Narayanan, SNEHA's media coordinator.

Unable to accept the outcome, students, battle fear, frustration, anger, helplessness, humiliation, guilt and misery. Their sense of failure and worthlessness leads to depression and suicidal thoughts. The organisation cites research that shows negative feelings are heightened during the night, making it extremely difficult for students to cope.

An understanding and accepting person could help them unburden their emotional stress. “A person going through emotionally trouble needs someone to talk to, to share their innermost feelings with,” Mr. Shankar Narayanan said. While for many students, parents, family members and friends offer that support, some find it easy to talk to an unknown person as their anonymity and confidentiality is maintained.

It is for this purpose that SNEHA also offers free, confidential and personal counselling between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. at 11 Park View Road, R.A. Puram.