Case Study 23

Many recent studies have shown a spike in suicide rates in India, which has become a matter of concern for Indian society. In fact, India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29. Suicidal deaths have gone up “manifold” in many states and most are being done over spur-of-the-moment and in some cases over trivial issues.

Analyse this problem in detail from different perspectives and indicate various social, psychological and economic factors responsible for this problem. Also, distinctly bring out —  

a) Why suicide rates are high, especially among youth.

b) Why suicide rate is high even in some developed states like Sikkim, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu?

c) What steps can be taken to stop the youth to take such extreme steps?


Suicide is an expression of extreme emotional and mental distress, so much so that the person can’t bear it anymore and want to release himself/herself from it.

Every life is valuable. We all are connected to each other with the value of fraternity and oneness. A suicide creates grief for even those who are unrelated. It represents a failure of the state to improve the condition of farmers, social pressure on students who suicide, lack of empathy, care and support for widows, and girls facing torture and trauma.

To a certain extent lack of emotional intelligence, courage to face people and tough situation and over expectation and unwillingness to accept less than what one demands is also responsible for suicide.    

A) High suicide rates among youths can be explained on the following basis:

  1. High aspirations and expectations – like high marks or high rank in competitive exams; quick success in business etc.
  2. Low compromising attitude.
  3. Peer pressure
  4. More concern of social image.
  5. Low emotional intelligence to realise that one incident in life is not the end and to keep alive patience and perseverance. 
  6. Absence of a joint family or family support in times of emotional crisis.
  7. Lack of emotional intelligence.
  8. The taboo surrounding mental health stops people from seeking psychological counselling.

B) Developed states in India also have high suicide rates due to the following reasons:

  1. Agricultural distress is present in developed states as well. So, farmer suicide is prevalent.
  2. There is the absence of an emotional crisis management centre or counselling centre.
  3. The aspirations of people are even higher. Any failure in education or business is perceived as a huge embarrassment.
  4. Increasing individuation has made people lonely.
  5. Stress due to urban lifestyle adds to the mental suffering.
  6. Incidents like failed marriages affect one professionally as well.
  7. Absence of a joint family or family support in times of emotional crisis. 
  8. The taboo surrounding mental health stops people from seeking psychological counselling.
  9. Lack of emotional intelligence.

C) Suicide is a huge loss to the nation and is affecting us economically, socially, culturally and emotionally. The following steps can be taken to stop the youth from taking such extreme steps:

  1. Inculcate the value of perseverance, tolerance, courage ambition and aspiration.
  2. Develop emotional intelligence to deal with high emotional stress.
  3. Teach children from early-stage moral stories of perseverance like the story of King Bruce and the ant where the king learnt a lesson from the spider. Spider falls six times on his way to the ceiling of the cave, but he kept trying and on the seventh attempt he succeeded. Similarly, the story of Thomas Edition and others.
  4. Widen the concept of success in life. Success should not only be measured with rank in exams or financial success or fame. Youth must be taught to find success in small things like making one’s family happy and acting as a good son/daughter, husband/wife, and father/mother.
  5. Adding environmental values like planting trees and taking care of pets will add joy to life and will help to cope with temporary setbacks in life.
  6. Emotional crisis management centres or counselling centres should be opened in every district.
  7. Focus on implementing the Mental Health Act, of 2017.
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