31 Children Died By Suicide Every Day In India In 2020, Experts Blame Coronavirus Pandemic

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31 Children Died By Suicide Every Day In India In 2020, Experts Blame Coronavirus Pandemic

Data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) cited "family problems" as one of the key reasons for these suicides attributing 4,006 deaths to it, which was then closely followed by "love affair" (1,337) and illness (1,327).

As per the latest data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), an average of 31 children in India died by suicide every day in 2020 with experts blaming the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for accentuating psychological stress on kids.

The NCRB data highlighted that approximately 11,396 children died by suicide in 2020, which is an 18 per cent rise from 2019's figure (9,613 deaths) and a 21 per cent increase from 2018's (9,413 deaths), the Hindustan Times reported.

The above-mentioned statistics also mentions "family problems" as one of the key reasons for these suicides attributing 4,006 deaths to it, which is then closely followed by "love affair" (1,337) and illness (1,327). The data also gave reasons behind suicide by children includes hero-worshipping or ideological causes, bankruptcy, drug abuse, impotency or infertility and unemployment.

'We As A Society Are Cognisant Of Tangibles'

"While we as a society are cognisant of tangibles such as education and physical health for building national human capital, emotional wellbeing or psycho-social support often takes a back seat. The successively increasing number of suicides among children reflects a systemic failure," Deputy Director Prabhat Kumar of Child Protection, Save the Children, was quoted as saying.

Kumar also stated how it is the collective responsibility of neighbourhoods, families, parents and government at large to provide children with a conducive ecosystem where they can realise their potential and fulfil their dreams for a better and bigger future.

He then went on to add, "Stigma attached to mental health and an abysmally low number of per capita mental health professionals demand urgent attention. COVID-19, and the resultant school closures and social isolation coupled with anxiety among elders has further aggravated the issue and brought it to the forefront. Save the Children calls for a collective action to nurture an encouraging and supportive ecosystem for children and youth."

Pandemic And Mental Health

Priti Mahara, the director of policy research and advocacy at CRY-Child Rights and You, stated that the fear that the COVID-19 pandemic can impact the mental health of children and that their psycho-social wellbeing has been affected since the start of the COVID outbreak. She also added how the NCRB statistics provides further proof that the pandemic may have accentuated the psychological trauma faced by children to a great extent.

The news outlet further quoted her saying how numerous children at home also fell victims to a hostile environment, with schools no longer being a means of escape. Furtheremore, children also had to deal with losing their loved ones during the pandemic, which impacting their mental well-being massively as well. There are children have also experienced massive uncertainty related to the completion of exams, results and curriculum, leading to anxiety.

"All of these, compounded with an overall anxiety of the uncertainty of the future, must have been too much to bear for their young and tender minds," she further added.

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