K. Lakshmi

CHENNAI: Sneha suicide prevention centre's exclusive helpline for students received nearly 50 calls from different parts of the State in the first few hours after the results of the class twelve higher secondary examination were announced on Friday.

Volunteers of Sneha said the centre usually receives calls from the students for three or four days after the results are declared. Most of the calls are from students who were dejected for scoring marks less than they expected. The centre's director Shanti said “Many youngsters have now begun calling the helpline (24646060) for support. Normally, help-seeking behaviour among adolescents is low.”

The students feel guilty for not concentrating on studies or sad that they did not do better. While some of them were angry, a few others were depressed. Some also spoke about how their parents rebuked them for scoring low marks, she said.

A few parents also called the helpline to voice concern about their children's education. The centre got about 90 calls till 7 p.m. on Friday. Last year, it received 500 such calls in two weeks after the results were declared, Ms. Shanti said.

Psychiatrists say that children who are sensitive and easily get embarrassed need utmost attention during such time. Several factors contribute to the emotional problem, including parental expectation and inability to match the high ambition. V. Jayanthini, child psychiatrist, said this depends on the temperament of each child. Some of them retaliate when parents scold them, but others may further get demoralised.

Three or four children visited her clinic daily after the results are out. The awareness level is more now helping youngsters to cope with the problem better, she said.

“Parents have to be supportive now. If a child is moody or refuses to talk or eat, there is a significant need for the parents to extend their support. They may also seek the help of other persons whom the child is friendly with to solve the issue,” she said.

If the child expresses a self-injurious behaviour, consultation with the family doctor is essential, Dr. Jayanthini added.

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