The Study, "Depression among Indian university students and its association with perceived university academic environment, living arrangements and personal issues" by Prof. Sibnath Deb, Parveen R. Banu, Shinto Thomas, R.Vishnu Vardhan, P.Tirupathi Rao and Nigar Khawaja highlighted that the students who reported positive views about the university academic environment and living arrangements had lower level of depression compared to their counterparts.
"So far my knowledge goes, this was the first systematic study in India on depression among university students using a sensitive standardized psychological tool especially developed for measuring level of depression among university students", Prof. Sibnath Deb told NDTV about the study.
He also said that, In India, hardly any university or college has students' mental health support services by trained professional psychologists. Therefore, mental health challenges of university and/or college students go unnoticed and finally some of them develop suicidal ideation and they attempt to commit suicide.
'So far as academic stream is concerned, students from humanities and social science were found to be suffering from more depression compared to students from science and management streams', the study which was published in October last year said.
"The findings of our study are very important and it is eye opener for the educational policy makers and in turn they should instruct every educational institutions to arrange mental health support services by trained psychologists in every educational institution. In our study we also proposed a conceptual model for addressing students mental health challenges which could be replicated across the country with minor changes based on local situation", said Prof. Deb.
According to the study, personal resilience's such as being able to sharing personal problems with others and doing regular exercise were found to be associated with positive mental health.
'According to studies', responding to this study, Raheemudheen PK, Joint Director - CDMRP at Department of Psychology, University of Calicut said that, university students are a special group of people that are enduring a critical transitory period in which they are going from adolescence to adulthood and can be one of the most stressful times in a person's life.
'Trying to fit in, maintain good grades, plan for the future, and be away from home often causes anxiety for a lot of students. As a reaction to this stress, some students get depressed. They find that they cannot get themselves together", added Mr. Raheemudheen PK.
A total of 717 students were recruited following the multistage cluster sampling method, and data were collected by a specially designed structured questionnaire, academic achievement record and a standardized University Students Depression Inventory.
Prof. Deb wished the various stakeholders and higher education officials would go through the study findings and take appropriate measures.
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