Mental health still ignored in educational institutes

Bangalore City Health Top Story

Three suicides in three months fail to draw the attention of Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra (GKVK) authorities.

Astha Oriel

Although three suicides took place in the GKVK College campus University of Agricultural Sciences, over the past three months, the institution is yet to form a mental health committee. 

Aarti, a first year student at the University of Agricultural Sciences told The Softcopy that they don’t have a mental health committee or suicide squad.

She said, “A week back, the administrative office asked us to fill a form regarding the mental health issues.. Since then the progress is nil. “

Yagana, another first year student said, “We don’t have counseling sessions regularly. There is only one counselor for all the issues.”

In the past three months, three cases of suicide have been reported as per the media reports. The latest one took place thisSunday, when a PhD student of GKVK College committed suicide.

 Lokesh, an MBA (Agriculture Business) student, informed the Softcopy that though the government has asked the institution to make a mental health cell, they don’t have one.

“We neither have a suicide helpline number, nor a suicide squad. The institution should form a mental health committee to deal with the students’ mental issues. It’s really disturbing to read about students committing suicide frequently in the campus”, he said.

The Central Government Guidelines say that a mental health committee is a must in every government and private educational institute to address the issues of students. Apart from that, a suicide helpline number should be issued to help students in times of distress.

Dr. M. N .Venketeshrao, professor at Department of Economics agreed to the fact that the institution lacks  a mental health committee and suicide squad. “We have one teacher for around 20-30 students as a counselor. Every teacher acts as a counselor for the students. If they want, they can approach us and discuss their problems.”

Dr. Mahabaleshwar Hegde, Registrar of the University saidthat a committee shall be formed soon.

 “Deans of three colleges under the University will be appointed as the heads of the committee. . If problems pertaining to mental health of students arise, we will look into the matter seriously.”