With more than quarter of India's population comprising of adolescents, the rates of mortality among them is increasing day by day.
A recent report revealed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) based on 2013 data shows that suicide is the leading cause of deaths among youths aged 15-24 years. The report was published in the journal Lancet.
Suicide caused 60,000 adolescent deaths while road injuries fall next leading to over 41,000 deaths in 2013. The two other biggest killers were tuberculosis and depressive disorders.
The report also showed that suicide, road injuries, tuberculosis and depression were the leading cause of death among adolescents aged 10-14 years. Even these little children are subjected to stress and smoking exposure, which puts them at a higher risk of mortality.
Adolescence is theoretically the healthiest phase of an individual's life, but these figures indicate the opposite; poorest health among youths. The report also showed that deaths due to self-harm are relatively less in other developing countries like China and Brazil.
"We are certainly not doing enough, for the death toll in youth has been rising for the past decade, even while many other countries like China and Sri Lanka have been able to achieve just the opposite. As an immediate priority, the government must launch a national program, with the active participation of youth, to address these leading causes of death and illness," said Vikram Patel, professor of mental health in Center for Global Mental Health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.