Suicide biggest killer of 15- to 24-yr-olds: Can youngsters tackle life?


Entrance exam pressure is not the only thing driving young people over the edge. Suicide is the biggest killer of 15- to 24-year-olds in India, followed by road traffic accidents, shows data from Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 that tracked death from 306 diseases, injuries and risk factors across 188 countries.

Globally, road injury is the biggest killer in this age group, which makes up 1.8 billion of the world’s 7.1 billion population.

While death from infections such as tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhoea and lung infections have declined steadily, data shows all’s not well for India’s largest ever generation of adolescents and young people. Suicides have almost doubled in teenagers and young adults in India since 1990, replacing tuberculosis and injuries as the top two causes of death in a little over a decade, reported the study, published last week in The Lancet.

What drives many hundreds of young people to take their own lives each year? Are they stressed about the rapidly changing social and economic uncertainties? Is the fear of potential joblessness driving them to despair? Or do they lack the emotional maturity and the social skills needed to negotiate life?

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