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AIIMS director speaks to students after recent string of suicides

new delhi: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria on Monday addressed students and resident doctors on the issue of mental health after multiple suicides of students and resident doctors in the institute.

Guleria while addressing the students pointed towards substance abuse as the major reason for mental health problems.

"We need to have a holistic approach and keep in mind substance abuse. We have a zero-tolerance policy and will take strict actions as far as this is concerned," he said through a webinar conducted by the institute.

He added that rules already exist and these will be strengthened. "We will also have programmes to make students aware, understand the issues and problems that can happen due to substance abuse," he added.

Naming a number of programmes started by AIIMS to cater to mental health, Guleria said the solution lies within their own community.

"There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to mental health. Students feel seeking help as a sign of weakness. Some don't reach out as well thinking it won't help them. I would like to reassure you that we would do everything possible to prevent the recurrence of such events,"

he added.

"We will continue to work aggressively and see what can be done and to really look at solutions for this problem and address it upfront. Student wellness wing is working all time round, email helpline and emergency support are also available. I would urge students to approach wellness centres. We have started 11 wellness clubs as well," he

said.

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