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Mental Health Issues Among Medical Students: Colleges To Submit Report Of Suicides, Drop-Outs To NMC Today

A total of 358 suicide deaths among medical students (125), residents (105), and physicians (128) were reported between 2010 and 2019

Commission has asked medical colleges to submit the details latest by October 7. The move comes after a rise in incidents of suicides and overwork among medical students

Written by Kashish Sharma |Published : October 7, 2022 12:42 PM IST

Amid the rise of suicide cases among medical students, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has asked medical colleges in the country to provide details of medical students who have died by suicide and those who have discontinued the course in the last five years. The details of the same have to be submitted by October 7 (Friday).

The move comes after a rise in incidents of suicide, ragging, overwork and denial of weekly off granted to the students. The medical commission also seeks to know the details regarding the daily working hours of these students.

NMC has also offered a 24/7 operating helpline email address for students who can directly lodge complaints regarding ragging and abuse of any nature. Expressing concern over the increasing trend of suicides among medical students, the commission said that not all cases of suicide are not linked to ragging but some of them are prompted by it.

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Regarding the helpline email address, the notice by the commission read: "All the colleges are requested to give wide publicity by publishing the same on the website and displaying it in prominent places like hostel rooms, mess, classrooms, library, lecture hall etc. A compliance report in this regard may kindly be sent."

Medical colleges have also been directed to take numerous steps for the mental well-being of these students ensuring adequate rest, weekly off, counselling for those under stress, Yoga sessions regularly and a proper provision of leave when required by the student.

High suicide rates among medical students

Studies have shown that suicide among medical practitioners is more frequent than in other professional or academic fields. Within the profession, the tendency is more among women doctors and students than their male counterparts. As per a report Suicide deaths among medical students, residents and physicians in India spanning a decade (2010 2019): An exploratory study using online news portals and Google database, a total of 358 suicide deaths among medical students (125), residents (105), and physicians (128) were reported between 2010 and 2019. Around 7 out of 10 suicides happened before the age of 30. Cases were highest among physicians. Academic stress and mental health problems were the leading causes of suicide. Twenty-six per cent had exhibited suicide warning signs and only 13% had ever sought psychiatric help before ending their lives.

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