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Task Force Targets Student Mental Health

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The National Medical Commission (NMC) has established a 15-member National Task Force to address mental health issues in response to the concerning rise in depression and suicides among medical students.

By May 31st, the task force will deliver a thorough report that clarifies the intricacies surrounding mental health issues and medical student suicides. Throughout this time, monthly progress reports will be sent in order to maintain accountability and transparency.

“Mental health of medical students has been a cause of concern in the recent past leading to depression and suicide by medical students. To address this issue, a National Task Force has been constituted by anti-ragging committee of the National Medical Commission (NMC),” an official order issued on February 21 stated.

As per the terms and references, the task force shall study existing literature and data on mental health and suicide of medical students, analyse factors contributing to these challenges and propose evidence-based strategies for improving mental health and preparatory of suicides.

Furthermore, the committee will conduct visits to medical colleges where incidents of suicides have been reported. Its ultimate goal is to formulate actionable recommendations aimed at fostering mental well-being among medical students.

The task force will meet regularly, either in person or virtually, as needed to carry out its mission. Furthermore, the committee maintains the authority to appoint extra members as required in order to enhance its investigation and guarantee the timely completion of the report.

Recent RTI data shows alarming statistics: in the last five years, 119 medical students—64 MBBS students and 55 postgraduate physicians—have tragically passed away by suicide. In addition, 1,166 students have left medical colleges. Suicide and ragging rates have been alarmingly high in all medical facilities in the country, even among applicants for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

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