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Case of a depressed child who went Jiah Khan's way to end life
Babu, 12, a fifth grade student of Sriganganagar district in Rajasthan, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling hook in his house, reported Mid Day. According to Babu's family members, the boy had been watching news stories related to Jiah Khan's suicide on TV channels repeatedly. He appeared upset and shocked. He hanged himself when no one was inside the house.

According to psychiatrists, deaths by suicide are preventable if timely action is taken after the signs of depression are detected in a person. According to Kevin Caruso, over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death. The most common mental illness is depression and when left untreated, it becomes a major cause for suicide.

If a school-going child in his formative years commits suicide, it is a cause of concern for parents and school. It is quite possible some of the negative life experiences in school, neighborhood and family that may have caused depression in Babu and would have made it acute and unbearable due to lack of social support to come out of depression.

For children, when their physical, sexual and psychotic abuse at home, school or neighborhood remains unresolved and no help is in sight, they get into depression. It results into a feeling of not being accepted by family, friends, or society. The child, in such a situation feels an extremely low self-esteem and futility of life.

We need to have a relook at our upbringing styles and childhood education that should value children and their mental health. Both, in families and schools, nothing should be done that hurts the self-esteem of the child. Any symptoms of mental illness should be detected immediately, causes mended and treatment given to children.

It needs to be understood by caregivers and teachers of school children that any gesture, word or action that hurts children's self-esteem cause intense emotional pain to them, which they survive becoming insensitive persons or thinking that life is not worth living. Suicide by a child due to depression is a criminal neglect of mental health of children by parents and teachers.

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