The Deteriorating Mental Health of Young Indians in Canada: A Growing Crisis
Poor mental health of Indian youth in Canada is a concerning issue that requires urgent attention. The five-fold increase in youth deaths in India in just six years reveals the seriousness of the situation. This article aims to highlight the challenges faced by Indian students in Canada and suggest solutions to mental health issues.
Many Indian students who venture to Canada are burdened with hopes and aspirations, seeking better educational and career opportunities. However, the reality often does not align with their expectations, leading to mental illnesses such as depression. Factors like unemployment or difficulty in securing desired jobs during their studies contribute to the distress experienced by these students. Tragically, a few people have come to such depths of lose hope that they have turn to taking their own lives.
According to insights, the number of untimely passing among Indian students in Canada has reliably extended. In 2018, eight Indians met an untimely demise, which escalated to 33 in 2022. Shockingly, the situation has worsened further, with 36 deaths reported in 2023 alone. This alarming rise in fatalities over the span of just six years demands urgent action and intervention.
The Impact on Mental Health: Cases on the Rise
One heartbreaking aspect of this crisis is the stories of families risking their life savings to send their children to Canada, hoping for a brighter future. Arshdeep Verma, a student from Patiala, Punjab, was one such unfortunate victim. His family invested their lifetime savings of Rs. 30 lakh to secure his admission in an Ontario college in 2019. Tragically, Arshdeep succumbed to depression and ended his life in April 2022. This heart-wrenching incident epitomizes the struggle faced by thousands of Indian students in Canada, who are grappling with severe mental health challenges.
The mounting financial pressure and the constant worry about repaying loans have exacerbated the mental health crisis among Indian students. Disturbingly, cases of students succumbing to mental illnesses have witnessed a considerable increase. A nurse at Birchmount Psychiatric Hospital in Toronto, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed that the number of young Indian students seeking help has doubled within two years. The prevailing condition is predominantly marked by depression, and there have also been instances of students going missing. Usually, appeals for information regarding missing students are made on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Cultural Nuances and the Challenge of Communication
Another significant aspect contributing to the worsening mental health of Indian students in Canada is the lack of cultural understanding and empathy from mental health professionals. Dr. MA Gupta, a psychologist based in Toronto, points out that most mental health professionals in Canada are of white ethnicity, making it challenging for them to comprehend the cultural and emotional nuances unique to Indian students. Effective communication and connection with experts become arduous in such circumstances. To rectify this issue, it is imperative for colleges and universities to appoint mental health specialists of Indian origin, who can bridge this cultural gap and provide much-needed support to the struggling students.
A survey conducted by Khalsa Ed among international students in Canada aged between 20 and 22 revealed some shocking statistics. Three in 10 students were diagnosed with mental illness and depression. Additionally, 6 in 10 students report poor health. Jaspreet Singh from the International Sikh Students Association highlights the fact that most suicides occur within the younger age bracket of 19-20 years old. Denying students work permits poses a significant contributing factor to this distressing rise in suicide rates.
The deteriorating mental health of young Indians in Canada represents a growing crisis that demands immediate attention. The burden of unfulfilled expectations, financial pressures, and cultural isolation has led many students to experience severe mental distress, with a staggering increase in premature deaths. To mitigate this crisis, it is crucial to enhance mental health support services specifically tailored to the unique cultural needs of Indian students.
By selecting psychologists of Indian origin and encouraging better communication between professionals and students, we can work to create a safe and supportive environment. We can bring more to these weak people. Organizations, policy makers, and society at large must understand the urgency of this problem and take significant steps to address mental health issues among Indian youth in Canada.