Academic failure and relationship issues are the biggest drivers of suicides among Indian youth, shows data at a leading suicide prevention helpline. On World Suicide Prevention Day, 1Life, a suicide prevention helpline, listed reasons which drive Indian population across age groups towards suicides. These details were announced from the experience of handling thousands of calls from individuals who seek help and advice to overcome their mental status.
Between September 2022 and August 2023, 1Life volunteers received 22,674 calls; among which a majority percentage (about 68 per cent) were made by students and young adults who have academic failure (like examination failure or not able to cope with handle peer pressure) and relationship related issues (like love failure or rejection). Lack of proper employment and financial pressures are another set of reasons that drive young adults towards suicides.
Commenting on the findings, K. Rebecca Maria, Counseling psychologist, 1Life, a suicide prevention helpline said, “Though India is considered a one big family, and joint family concept is quite prevalent, many youngsters are not comfortable sharing their problems or issues that trouble them the most with their immediate family members. It is highly unfortunate that we as a society do not discuss certain uncomfortable issues which impact the lives of youth of India.”
In the last one year, 1Life received calls from 28 Indian states, and our volunteers speak 15 languages – Hindi, English, Telugu, Kanada, Tulu, Tamil, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Sindhi, Bhojpuri, Bengali, Konkani, and Urdu. The volunteers receive an average of 25 to 30 calls per day. On weekends this number rises to 45 to 60 calls a day. The volunteers try to answer all calls and address the caller’s concerns and a few might get dropped in between due to technical glitches or network issues. Calls increase on the weekends because most people might like to share the issues they have faced through the week days.
The statistics show that 65 per cent of individuals aged between 15 and 25 years were feeling suicidal due to academic stress, parents’ expectation, failures and relationship. About 50 per of people aged between 25 and 40 years complained of relationship issues, lack in professional growth, lack of confidence, loneliness and depression.
Forty per cent of callers aged 40-50 years had problems like financial instability, family crisis, genetic history and clinical history. Fifty per cent of those above 50 years face issues like financial crisis conditions, health/medical issues, or were disowned by families.
The helpline revealed that 70 per cent of the men are suicidal. They hesitate to share their feelings to anyone being egoist and getting feelings of being judgmental by others. Thirty per cent of female callers are suicidal. Women are sentimental but do cry and talk about their problems.