COVID-19, lockdowns and internet access: Is it pushing adolescents towards suicide?

  • Suravi Patra Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS Bhubaneswar
  • Binod Kumar Patro


A teenager ended his life in a remote district of Odisha when his father reprimanded him for playing online games on a mobile phone. The boy had lost about INR 1 lakh during online gaming/gambling using his parents' online banking details. The boy's father had given him a mobile phone to attend online classes. Local governments had enforced lockdowns to contain the virus. Schools were closed, and classroom learning has ceased. Online classes were imposed across the world. The digital divide is glaring; there are reports of students climbing rooftops and going to distant areas to access the internet. There is a definite increase in internet use by children and adolescents. Parents are concerned about the psychological and behavioural impact of internet use on their children and adolescents. Available research has shown the association of suicidal behaviours with internet use.

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