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Student Suicide Cases: How Parents Can Help Children Deal With Post Exam Stress, Anxiety

Manila Venugopal | News18.com

Updated: May 15, 2017, 7:15 PM IST
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Student Suicide Cases: How Parents  Can Help Children Deal With Post Exam Stress, Anxiety
Representative Image (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Martin Dimitrov/Istock.com)

New Delhi: How to commit suicide has been trending on Google on Monday.

The timing of this trend is disconcerting because it coincides with the time school boards across different states in the country are announcing results.

At least 12 students committed suicide within 24 hours after the Madhya Pradesh Board declared Class 10 and 12 results. The sudden spurt in the number of student suicide cases is a matter grave concern.

Google already has a plan in place to handle any suicidal search queries coming its way. The first result that a user will get to see when he/she searches for “how to commit suicide” on Google isn’t what the user is looking for, but a phone number for a suicide helpline.

For Google users in India the top search result, that appears in the form of what Google calls “featured snippet”, is the phone number of Aasra, an organisation that helps people who are suicidal, lonely and distressed.

The long hours of studying and the parental pressure can take a toll on students who feel their lives are doomed if they don't get good marks in the exams.

As soon as the results were announced, the helpline numbers of the Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education were flooded with calls from stressed students.

Dr Sandeep Govil, psychologist with Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital and Max Group of Hospitals said, "First of all, parents should lower their expectations and be more realistic in their approach. Also, it is important for parents to spend time with their children to understand their issues and help them deal with them," he added.

Talking about what parents should do if the child gets low marks, Dr Govil said, "They should be supportive and non-judgmental. Their love and support can go a long way in helping the children ward off stress and anxiety. The students and parents have to understand that getting low marks isn’t the end of life."

Considering the spurt in the number of opportunities that are available for students, he said academic success isn’t as important as it was years ago.

"Nowadays, there are multiple avenues and opportunities that students can explore. There was a time when marks meant a lot, but it is not the case today. "Moreover, people have to realise that marks are not the final objective of education, it is more important to acquire knowledge."

On being asked about how one can find out if the child is suffering from depression or anxiety, he said, "A child will never say he is sad."

While talking about the symptoms that the children show if they are depressed, he explained, "The child will show symptoms like low tolerance levels, they will get irritated easily at small things and sleep pattern gets reversed." "Even their pattern of appetite gets changed," he added.

First Published: May 15, 2017, 4:59 PM IST
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