37,000 Medical Students Share Details Of Mental Health Issues 

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37,000 Medical Students Share Details Of Mental Health Issues 

| Updated: May 13, 2024 11:48

130 medical students committed suicide in the last five years

A very large number, 37,000 medical students have told the government’s medical education authority that they are suffering from potentially risky mental health ailments. This has sent alarm bells ringing in the National Medical Commission (NMC).

The NMC had launched an online survey after finding that 130 medical students had taken their lives in the last five years. These include those both in UG and PG classes. This means, 25-26 students take their lives every year.

In the survey, medical students and faculty submitted details about the mental health illnesses they were suffering from – ranging from crippling anxiety and work pressure to overwhelming stress.

Slew of measures

NMC formed a panel to discuss the serious issue and give recommendations. It has announced measures including identification of vulnerable students, suicide watch, better student facilities, friendlier work environment, and round-the clock professional counselling services.

Other measures include support and orientation in medical colleges for new students, ways to cope with homesickness, strengthening of anti-ragging measures, mentoring programmes, and observing World Mental Health Day and World Suicide Prevention Day.

Regulation of duty hours for PG students to not more than 80 hours a week, the international norm, is another measure suggested. Currently, PG students are working as many as 100 hours a week without any break, according to government sources. 

These recommendations will be submitted to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry this month to be rolled out across medical colleges in the country.

Stigma a hurdle 

Most of the students face problems in hostels during ragging. While every hospital has a psychiatric division, students do not seek professional help because of the stigma attached to mental illness.

According to medical experts, the figure of 37,000 is just the tip of the iceberg. The numbers of doctors suffering from mental health issues could be much higher. The data indicates that around 70% of doctors feel burnout. They feel lack of interest going to the workplace, lack of pleasure, lack of motivation and lack of communication. 

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