Is there a mental health crisis among students in India? | In Focus podcast  

Dr Soumitra Pathare speaks to us about the recent spate of deaths by suicide in Kota and the coaching class culture, as well as the urgent necessity for systemic and policy changes to bring down deaths by suicide and promote mental well-being. 

March 18, 2024 04:01 pm | Updated 06:16 pm IST

It’s that time of the year again, when exams are looming, and students are stressed. Most students in India write a number of exams -- from the final boards at schools to the multiple competitive tests that are attempted to try and get a seat at coveted medical or engineering colleges. The process is so difficult – lakhs of students competing for a few thousand seats that coaching them for these exams has become a massive business at several cities across the country. Kota in Rajasthan, one of these hubs has been in the news recently over student suicides – 26 students died by suicide last year, and this year there have already been six deaths. 

How can the mental health of students be protected at a challenging time in their lives? What should the role of parents, teachers and other stakeholders be? What can be done to bring down the number of deaths by suicide? And what happened to the National Suicide Prevention Strategy that the Indian government announced in 2022? 

Guest: Dr Soumitra Pathare, director, Centre for Mental Health, Law & Policy 

Host: Zubeda Hamid  

Edited by Sharmada Venkatasubramanian.

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