140 teenage suicides in 6 months: SHRC calls for Kerala government report on prevention
At least 140 teenagers
committed suicide in Kerala for trivial reasons in the past six months, a study has found, prompting the state’s Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to order the Ministry of Social Justice to review the effectiveness of its suicide prevention measures.
In his direction to the director of the department on Monday, SHRC chairman Antony Dominic also asked for a report on initiatives being taken to prevent youth suicide.
“According to a complaint received by the panel, a study conducted by DISHA, an NGO, shows that at least 140 young people between the ages of 13 and 18 committed suicide during the period from January 2020 to June 2020,” according to a press release. of the commission. noted.
The study indicated that family conflicts, troubled love relationships, failing exams, mobile phone problems, two-wheelers were among the main reasons for suicides.
“Thiruvananthapuram district has the highest number of suicides with 22 youths taking the extreme step followed by Malappuram with 20 suicides,” the SHRC said.
The complaint states that the ineffectiveness of “village child protection councils” has led to an increase in the number of suicides among young people.
The statement said the SHRC has asked the Department of Social Justice to review the effectiveness of the suicide prevention measures it has taken and has asked for a report.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in July that cases of suicidal tendencies were being seen among children and called it an “extremely serious social problem”.
“Since March 25, when the nationwide lockdown was imposed, 66 children under the age of 18 have ended their lives for various reasons,” Vijayan said.
To help children facing problems related to mental pressures, the tele-counselling initiative ‘Chiri’a was launched by the government as part of its Our Responsibility to Children (ORC) programme, a planned community intervention which connects with children and young people between the age of 12 -18 years.
The health department has started the program “Ottakalla Oppamund” (You are not alone, we are with you) to help children facing any type of mental distress and to stop suicidal tendencies among them.
A committee led by the DGP R Sreelekha Fire and Rescue Service had also been formed to conduct a study on child suicides in the state.
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