THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sixty-six children took their own lives in the state since March 25, the day when the countrywide lockdown came into effect, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday. In view of the situation, the Student Police Cadet project will launch ‘Chiri’, a telephonic counselling programme to provide relief to students facing mental pressure.
Raising serious concern over the issue, the chief minister asked parents to ensure a happy and peaceful atmosphere at homes. He asked them to take more care of the wards who are now devoid of school or college friends.
The reasons for the suicides vary — mother scolding them for not attending online class, not allowing online games or scolding for watching obscene clips on mobile phones. Some took the extreme step due to problems in families and substance abuse by parents.
“Parents should correct children considering the mental condition of the children,” he said at the daily press conference.
The chief minister reminded the parents that children should not be treated like elders. Specialities in their character should be learnt and elders should try to understand them, he pointed out. Parents can seek expert assistance like counselling for their children. “Learning too increases their mental pressure. This should not happen. They should be taught that education is not a competition but knowledge source,” he said.
The government has formed a committee headed by Fire and Rescue Services DGP R Sreelekha to study the suicides.
The chief minister said that the government will take steps for more mental healthcare facilities for children, including doctors, counsellors and hospitals.