Aiming to prevent students committing suicide, especially after the publication of examination results, Tamil Nadu government has decided to enhance suicide prevention programme for school children here. The aim is to train school teachers in collaboration with mental health experts.
The programme would be implemented by the Social Welfare Department, a senior official from Education Department told DT Next on Saturday, adding that experts would train 100 teachers from each district as part of the training of trainers programme.
Though the Health Department had launched helpline that provides counselling to students, it has helped only to a certain extent, as students must be personally motivated, pointed out an official. “This can be done only by teachers,” he added.
He said experts would be hired and sent to each district to train teachers on imparting confidence among the students.
“Training will be conducted especially at the time of half yearly and annual exams so that teachers would in turn educate students about the implication of a suicide bid,” the official said. The training method includes creating awareness on suicide pathology, stress management and the challenges that students face.
The authorities are also considering implementing the programme at college level as well, the official said. “Perhaps the programme will be started in the college level by next year,” he added.
This measure if particularly significant for Tamil Nadu, where there are a large number of student suicides recorded every year. As per the details that Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir tendered in the Parliament recently, Tamil Nadu ranked third in the number of student suicides in 2016. In that year, 1,350 students committed suicide in Maharashtra followed by West Bengal (1,147) and Tamil Nadu (981).