According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau data, in 2019, 10,335 students died by suicide in India, the highest in 25 years. This translates to about 28 students per day, meaning more than one student dying by suicide every hour in India alone.
Worryingly, they have been increasing year-on-year. Between 2005-09 and 2015-19, there has been more than a 60 percent increase, from 30,064 to 48,537. This is compounded by the fact that mental health issues among students are on the rise, especially with the advent of the COVID pandemic. Recent studies have indicated that cases of anxiety and depression have doubled in the last year.
While the reasons for student suicide are multiple, involving many factors, and is complex, one thing is certain. Suicide is preventable. There are many evidence-based initiatives for prevention, intervention, and postvention (meaning an intervention that takes place once a suicide has occurred, typically involving support for the bereaved). Based on the needs of each institution, a package of interventions can be customized and delivered, so as to improve the institution’s preparedness to address mental health issues and be better equipped to prevent suicides.
One of the easiest ways to increasing suicide literacy, help-seeking behavior, and reducing stigma is to train students, faculty, and admin staff as Gatekeepers.
The QPR Gatekeeper training program is 20 years in development, evidence-based, and peer-reviewed. It utilizes the existing resources in an average classroom- peer network. It is scalable and low-cost, one of the reasons why the WHO recommends Gatekeeper Training for low and middle-income countries like India. Many years of research indicate that a single training session boosts identification and intervention abilities amongst students, teachers, and parents. QPR has trained five million people globally and is present in 800 colleges including Stanford, Northwestern, Purdue.
Suicide Prevention India Foundation offers Gatekeeper training in partnership with QPR Institute, both as a live webinar and as an online, self-paced course.
SPIF has trained students, college counselors, faculty members and administrators from over 25 different colleges. These include IIT-Hyderabad, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Kharagpur, TISS-Balm, St. Stephen’s, Ambedkar University Delhi, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and so on.
“I would definitely recommend this training program to everyone especially ones working with young people because the rate of suicide is alarmingly increasing among the young age group.”
Dr. Nesmita Das, Student Counsellor, IIT Guwahati
“I learned a lot of things about what drives people to suicide and how it is never too late to stop them. As a student mentor, I will be the first point of contact for the incoming freshers. I wish to use this training to be able to help any such student who is going through a period of emotional distress or thinking of suicide.”
Naveli Jaju, Student, IIT-Delhi
There are two options for Gatekeeper training.
1) 2-hour Instructor-led Gatekeeper Training:
The 2-hour Instructor-led Gatekeeper Training is done live, giving your students, faculty, and admin the tools and skills to appreciate the critic†al need for suicide prevention while creating a forum for dialogue and critical thinking about campus mental health challenges. The program builds a business case for suicide prevention while promoting help-seeking and help-giving.
2) The 1-hour online Gatekeeper Training:
The QPR Gatekeeper training equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to save a life. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.
Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 080-47096367 for more information. You can also reach out to schedule a free talk on mental health and suicide prevention, or a free consultation to see how we can help your institution with suicide awareness and prevention.