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Suicide risk high for college students: Pune college psychologist

ILS Law College psychologist said college authorities need to focus on providing students with easier access to counselling as they are at a higher risk

Four days after a 19-year-old student of ILS Law College committed suicide on Saturday, the psychologist appointed by the college has said that psychological counselling is the need of thehour at educational institutes in the city.

Nicky Lamba, a professional psychologist, who is associated with ILS Law College for the past five years, said she tends to at least 4 to 5 students per week and recognising the signs suicidal tendencies and keeping the lines of communication open is key to averting a tragedy.


Nicky Lamba

Lamba said she has attended to many cases of students with suicidal tendencies, out of which some even made unsuccessful attempts to end their lives earlier. Fortunately, after receiving much needed help through the medium of counselling to overcome behavioural problems, they now living a healthy life, said Lamba.

“After I started my service at ILS Law College, some two yearsago I received two different cases of students who had suicidal tendencies. While sharing their problems with me, they expressed their desire to commit suicide. When someone openly makes a proclamation like this, it means they are shouting for help,” Lamba said.

She added that her experience shows that studies or poor academic performance are not the main reasons behind suicides by the students. “Some of the bright and brilliant students can also have behavioural problems in their life. Students could be affected due to sour relations, inadequate family support system or peer pressure. Many times coming to Pune and leaving everything behind itself is a big challenge and most of the students become homesick in the initial phase,” Lamba said.

Elaborating on another such incident, she said, “I was in touch with a girl student, who before meeting me, attempted to kill herself on at least two occasions. After two to three counselling sessions, I got to know that her mother had committed suicide and she was having trouble coping with it. So we just don’t pass judgments until we ascertain what’s troubling the student.”

Alarming trend
While a couple of incidences that took place at the College of Engineering Pune (CoEP), wherein a student ended his life andanother attempted suicide in fear of exam stress, are still fresh,the suicide of first year BSL student Saumitra Dhoble who ended his life at his home in Nagpur on Saturday has come as a shock.

Though the exact reason behind his extreme step is not yet ascertained, the recently declared first semester results in which Saumitra failed in two subjects could be the reason.

Vaijayanti Joshi, principal, ILS Law College, said, “Whether poor marks in the semester exam drove Saumitra to commit suicide is not confirmed yet. As we were recently made aware of the incident, the college has yet to contact his parents.”

She said that in her 21 years service as a principal this is the first ever suicide by a college student she has come across.

“I think students need to understand the difference between HSC and graduation. Unlike HSC, there is no single textbook format in senior college.

Some time is required to get acclimatised to this new change. My observation is that students are not prepared to face adverse situations. Rather than taking extra precaution, parents also try to make their children independent,” she said.

“In this particular incident, the first year BSL result was declared online. The mark list has yet to be distributed by the university. If Saumitra was confident about his performance, he can even apply for a revaluation.

But unfortunately, just hearing it from a friend, he ended his life. This is really heartbreaking. I don’t know how to condole his family,” Joshi added.

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