Indian students’ deaths highlight need for improved mental health resources: Experts

The deaths of seven Indian college students across the United States in less than two months have shocked the community and raised serious questions about how they could have been prevented.

Although the deaths are unrelated, there is concern about students’ mental health — particularly among those in the Indian community, experts told ABC News. The incidents involved Indian students from different universities, and range from death by suicides, accidental overdoses and a brutal assault, according to authorities.

In the wake of these deaths, one lawmaker is also calling for increased mental health support. Among adults with any mental illness, only 25% of Asian adults reported receiving mental health services compared to 52% of white adults in 2021, according to a study from KFF, a nonprofit organization that specializes in health policy research and polling.

“Students of Indian origin are people who are high achievers and they come from families with very high expectations,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat and one of the few Indian Americans serving in Congress, said in an interview with ABC News. “They not only have to deal with the stress of the high expectations … but also the stress of being in a new environment. And I would just respectfully request our families to make it less stigmatic to seek mental health support.”

For students and parents, the recent spate of deaths has been cause for alarm.

“Deaths like the ones that these students have experienced, untimely ones, very unexpected, really shake the community,” said Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, the nation’s largest reporting center tracking anti-AAPI hate acts.

Read more at ABC News