The subject of mental well-being and mental health is the most discussed topic in the recent times. After several conversations about how important it is to keep our minds occupied with positive thoughts, we often find ourselves in never-ending despair. Why does it sometimes become so difficult to have control over our own emotions and feelings?
Our society is trying to have relevant discussions about mental well-being, talking about one’s personal sufferings are being encouraged. We as humans, tend to emotionally depend on someone we can share our troubles with. Mostly, people whom we depend upon belong to our age-group; it gives us a sense of relief to be able to express our thoughts to someone who relate to us. However, there must have been several occasions where the other person couldn’t understand where we are coming from. Similarly, there are various times where the other person couldn’t give us any solution to our problems. Now, sharing our problems with someone is one thing, but to be able to convey them what we are exactly feeling is another. Individual experiences of despair are unique and what might be causing difficulty for you may or may not be the same for someone else. That is why, it is important to seek therapy. It becomes necessary to share your problems to an empathetic professional, who knows how to resolve these issues.
If we are trying to study the pattern of problems a student goes through, we need to understand their background and where they are coming from. Like I said before, individual experiences are different and it cannot be generalized. What we are trying to do here is, critically analyse basic grievances that affect the well-being of a student’s mental health.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), every hour one student commits suicide in India. When we talk about suicide rates, we need to consider the circumstances that led the child to commit the act. Was it the pressure created by the society to have a successful career? Was it because of parental pressure to pursue a degree which isn’t their passion? Was it because of the flawed educational system?
Let’s consider the current scenario into account, where our economy has shrunk by a quarter, with GDP rate at -23.9%. These figures clearly tell us the situation of our market, students and newly graduates looking for internships and job opportunities are clueless in this stagnant market. Many having to give away their jobs, the question of getting new jobs seems to be both unrealistic and a surprise at the same time. Uncertainty, is clearly prevailing and questions related to the future has become a mystery.
Students are always preparing to sit for various competitive examinations, the level of pressure created for a student to clear these examinations are immense. The pressure is so horrifying that the child is prone to suffer from anxiety and is always stressing over everything. The stigma related to trying again and failure have jeopardized the mental health of our students. Our country has the biggest youth population, and the competition level is very high considering the number of people sitting for these exams. It is absolutely okay to give students another chance, and it is equally important to let them know that not clearing one examination is not the end of the world.
There are many students out there who manage to continue their education on various student’s loans. However, there are many who cannot get the benefit of these loans. Education is one of the important factors for allowing social mobility, unfortunately, education is not accessible for everyone. These challenges gravely affect the conditions of those who cannot reap the benefits of proper education. Similarly, many students are not able to continue their classes because they don’t have the facilities for attending virtual classes. This is an unfair system, which totally disregards the challenges it would impose on students who do not come from well-off families.
Campuses saw an increase in the numbers of students seeking counselling. This increase was essentially noticed during 2015, and it gradually kept increasing. It is definitely a good thing that the students were not shying away from seeking help, what was concerning was the level of anxiety they go through when they were asked about their future. Many were uncertain and unsure what they want to pursue, mostly they take up decisions under parental pressure or peer pressure and regret later. Though many students decided to take help from counselors to give them aide through difficult times, some turned to unhealthy coping mechanism which isolated them more from their realities.
It was noticed that many students slept for unusual hours and lived in a denial to ignore their stress, many started binge-eating or not eating at all due to excessive anxiety. A lot of them started consuming alcohol and drugs to cope with stress. These are not just unhealthy and dangerous coping mechanisms, but it also results in poor performance and affects the well-being of the students even more. It is therefore, important to seek therapy, meditate and exercise to reduce the level of stress. Therefore, it is important to be more empathetic and helpful towards others. Offering help is always as important as seeking help, we must try to uplift each other and must always be kind towards each other, for the betterment of mental health.