• 13 June 2024

Uncovering the Deep Root Causes Of Student Suicides

Jul 25, 2023

The issue of student suicides has become a pressing global concern, impacting nations across the world. This article aims to compare student suicide rates among major nations, explore the reasons behind this dark trend, and present research findings on how to tackle this crisis at its earliest.

Key Highlights of Student Suicide

  1. The social sciences and humanities have observed a higher rate of suicides among students compared to performing arts and activity-based disciplines. This suggests a possible correlation between subjects studied and suicide rates. (Hypothesis based on experiences at the University of Hyderabad)
  2. The educational institutions, instead of addressing the root problem, have resorted to makeshift solutions to deal with student suicides, such as installing fans with limited weight capacity to prevent hanging incidents. (Based on observations).
  3. As of the time of the report, India’s national health budget allocated only 0.06% to mental health, and there was an 87% nationwide shortage in mental-health professionals. This highlights the lack of support and resources available for mental health in educational institutions. (Source: Unknown).
  4. Students from marginalized sections face various challenges, including the lack of English-medium education, high fees in private institutions, poor quality education in government-run schools, economic inequality, and caste discrimination. These factors further marginalize already vulnerable students.
  5. The proposed National Educational Policy (NEP) 2020 allows students to exit and re-enter education at multiple points. This may impact the dropout rate, and some students may leave the system due to rising costs of quality education and concerns of poverty and unemployment. (Source: National Educational Policy – NEP 2020)


  1. According to estimates, around 7% of suicides in 2020 were attributed to farmers, and farmers’ suicides are recognized as a problem. However, little attention is given to student suicides in comparison. (Source: NCRB – Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) report, 2020)
  2. In 2020, there was a student suicide every 42 minutes in India, resulting in more than 34 student suicides daily. (Source: National Crime Record Bureau – NCRB)
  3. The NCRB reported that around 8.2% of all suicides in India in 2020 were among students. Additionally, 64,114 people under the age of 30 took their own lives in the same year. (Source: NCRB – Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) report, 2020)
  4. It’s estimated that for every 100 suicides in the country, only 63 are reported by the NCRB. This indicates widespread under-reporting due to social stigma and legal consequences. (Source: The Lancet)
  5. India’s southern states, which account for 22% of the total population, have a disproportionately high suicide rate, with 42% of male and 40% of female suicides coming from these states. (Source: Life, Interrupted (2022))

Reasons for student suicide

Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) until 2011 reveals a concerning trend of student suicides in India. Between 2011 and 2015, nearly 40,000 students took their lives, with 8,934 cases reported in 2015 alone. Notably, India’s suicide rates for young people between 15 and 29 years are among the highest in the world. However, due to the illegality of suicide, several cases may go unreported or masked as accidents.

Academic stress, especially for class-XII students, is a significant contributing factor to these suicides. Board exam scores and entrance tests heavily influence college placements and future careers, leading to immense pressure on students. The town of Kota, Rajasthan, known as India’s coaching hub, has witnessed over 60 student suicides in the past six years, primarily attributed to exam failures.

The frequency of student suicides has drawn attention from administrators and celebrities alike, prompting calls for mental health prioritization. PM Narendra Modi and Bollywood actors have urged students to seek help if facing depression. However, India faces a severe shortage of mental health professionals, with only 0.06% of the national health budget allocated to mental health.

The rising number of student suicides indicates a failure in protecting and nurturing the young, demanding a critical examination of the education system and social structures. As a collective responsibility, adults, parents, teachers, and leaders must prioritize students’ well-being and provide adequate support to prevent further tragic incidents.

Comparing Student Suicide Rates Across Major Nations

  1. India
  • Suicide Rate: India witnessed a significant increase in student suicides, with an estimated suicide rate of 20.3 per 100,000 for individuals aged 15-29 in 2021. (Source: NCRB)
  • Gender Ratio: In India, male students have a higher suicide rate than female students, with the ratio estimated at 4:1. (Source: The Lancet)
  1. United States
  • Suicide Rate: The U.S. reported an alarming surge in student suicides, with rates rising by 60% from 2011 to 2021, reaching 11.0 per 100,000 for individuals aged 10-24. (Source: CDC)
  • Gender Ratio: Among U.S. youth, suicide rates are higher for males than females, with the ratio approximately 3:1. (Source: CDC)
  1. South Korea
  • Suicide Rate: South Korea has one of the highest youth suicide rates globally, estimated at 28.6 per 100,000 for individuals aged 10-24. (Source: World Population Review)
  • Gender Ratio: South Korea’s male-to-female ratio of student suicides is approximately 3:1. (Source: WHO)

The Dark Decode of Student Suicide

  1. Academic Pressure and Competition: Research suggests that intense academic pressure, competitive environments, and expectations for academic excellence contribute significantly to students’ stress and feelings of hopelessness.
  2. Mental Health Stigma : Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health often prevents students from seeking help, leading to unaddressed mental health issues and an increased risk of suicide.
  3. Social Isolation and Bullying: Additionally, social isolation, cyberbullying, and feelings of loneliness exacerbate students’ vulnerability to suicidal thoughts.
  4. Economic Struggles : Additionally, financial concerns and socio-economic disparities can create additional stressors that impact students’ mental well-being.

      Major Research Findings on Tackling Student Suicides

      1. Early Intervention and Mental Health Education: Additionally, research generally shows that early intervention and mental health education in schools can basically help students recognize and cope with their emotions effectively.
      2. Strengthening Support Systems: Generally, studies indicate that fostering supportive environments, including strong familial and peer support, can act as protective factors against student suicides.
      3. Accessible Mental Health Services: Additionally, providing accessible and affordable mental health services on campus and in the community is crucial for early identification and intervention.
      4. Comprehensive Prevention Programs: Additionally, comprehensive suicide prevention programs that focus on stress management, coping skills, and emotional intelligence have shown promise in reducing suicide rates.

        Global Initiatives and Progress

        1. World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD): WSPD, observed on September 10th, promotes global awareness and action to prevent suicide and raise awareness about mental health.
        2. Mental Healthcare Policies: Additionally, several nations, including India and the United States, have implemented mental healthcare policies and acts to improve mental health services..
        3. School-based Programs: Initiatives like KIRAN Helpline in India and school-based mental health programs in the U.S. aim to provide counseling and support to students.

          Facts and Figures

          Top countries and student suicides
          Key Findings of the ADSI Report 2021
          • The American Depression and Suicide Index (ADSI) Report 2021 highlights the severity of the issue
          • India witnessed a 57% increase in student suicides from 2017 to 2021.
          • South Korea reported a suicide rate of 28.6 per 100,000 among youth.
          • In contrast, Jordan registered a relatively lower rate of 1.6 per 100,000, indicating the importance of understanding regional variations.

          Initiatives to Prevent Student Suicides

          • Improved Mental Health Services: Additionally, investing in mental health infrastructure and access to counseling can provide vital support to struggling students.
          • Promoting Positive Attitudes towards Mental Health : Additionally, promoting mental health awareness and combating the stigma surrounding seeking help is essential.
          • Focus on Overall Personality Development : Additionally, emphasizing holistic development, including emotional intelligence and coping skills, can better equip students to handle challenges.
          • Encouraging Participation in Sports: Additionally, engaging in physical activities can serve as a positive outlet for stress and foster a sense of belonging.
          • Addressing Socio-economic Issues: Moreover, efforts to address financial concerns and reduce economic disparities can alleviate the burden on students.
          • Stricter Cyber Bullying Policies: Additionally, implementing stringent measures to combat cyberbullying can protect students from online harm.
          • Substance Abuse Prevention Programs: Additionally, offering education and support to prevent substance abuse can mitigate its impact on mental health.
          • Building Positive Relationships: Encouraging healthy relationships and communication can also foster a sense of belonging and reduce isolation.
          • Family Support: Additionally, promoting family support systems and open communication channels can provide students with a crucial safety net.

          Also, read https://thelogicalpie.com/strengthening-our-digital-defenses-combating-the-rise-of-cyber-crimes/technology

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