Sharjah: A 15-year-old Indian girl, identified as N., died on Friday after falling from the 10th floor of a building in Sharjah’s Al Naba’a area, Sharjah Police confirmed to Gulf News on Saturday.
An official said police are investigating if the incident was a case of suicide.
The girl was reportedly a student at a Sharjah-based Indian-curriculum school belonging to a UAE-wide education group. She hailed from the south Indian state of Kerala.
On being alerted about the incident, police and paramedics arrived at the scene on Friday night to find that the girl had suffered serious injuries from the fall, the police official said.
He said she was transferred to Kuwaiti Hospital around 10.50pm, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Sharjah Police are investigating what could have led to the incident, while prosecutors have ordered for an examination to be carried out on the girl’s body in the forensic lab.
Police have also summoned the parents for questioning. Al Gharb Police Station is investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, EP Johnson, president of the Indian Association Sharjah, told Gulf News on Saturday afternoon: “It is an unfortunate incident. I express my deepest condolences to the family.”
Spate of deaths
An incident involving the death of a student due to a fall from a high-rise building was last reported on November 23, when a 16-year-old Jordanian boy jumped to his death from the fourth floor of his building in Al Qassimyah area in Sharjah. Investigation by the police revealed that he committed suicide after an alleged heated argument with his father. The teenager was identified as R.J, the eldest of three siblings.
On October 28, an Afghani girl, also 16, fell to her death while she was trying to take a selfie on the balcony of her parents’ apartment on Shaikh Zayed Road in Dubai. Dubai Police said the girl was standing on a chair on the edge of the balcony trying to take a selfie when she lost balance and fell down.
Earlier in March, a 14-year-old Ukrainian boy jumped to his death from the 15th-floor window of his family’s flat in Al Majaz, Sharjah, while in November 2018, an Iraqi teen, 15, identified as NAAR, died after falling from the 18th floor balcony of her apartment in Sharjah.
Risk of falls
The reasons for high-rise falls could be accidental or deliberate, as investigations by police conclude.
According to experts, not everyone may be used to living in a multi-storeyed apartment. So a new habitat, culture or environment can pose its own set of challenges. Distraction while in a balcony is also common and can prove dangerous, resulting in falls.
As for the risk of “suicide”, Devika Mankani, psychologist and consultant at a Dubai-based school group, who is also a psychologist at The Hundred Wellness Centre in Dubai, said: “An individual at risk for suicide is usually experiencing a combination of events simultaneously and converge at the point of suicide. These may include biological, psychological, social factors in the individual, family and environment. The risk of completed suicide or attempted suicide are highest when many factors are co-occurring or are escalating whilst coping mechanisms or support is not available as needed. The risk for suicide is also higher when an individual has access to lethal means.
There are no ‘perfect predictors’ for suicidal ideation and attempts. So we have to focus on doing the best we can in terms of developing healthy coping mechanisms for our youth, teaching evidence-based resilience strategies, building and enhancing family cohesion and communication and looking for ways to make school and home feel safe for youth.
“Unfortunately, and as with most mental health issues there are no ‘perfect predictors’ for suicidal ideation and attempts. So we have to focus on doing the best we can in terms of developing healthy coping mechanisms for our youth, teaching evidence-based resilience strategies, building and enhancing family cohesion and communication and looking for ways to make school and home feel safe for youth.”
She said an assessment for mental health distress usually requires a combination of structured and unstructured time together. During structured time parents and teachers can ask questions to try to understand their world and the problems from their eyes. “Initially, this should be a listening exercise, not solely a problem-solving exercise. This is not always easy to do with teenagers who often shut down and stop communicating when stress levels escalate,” she noted.
During unstructured time, things can emerge through the conversation that can give adults around the child an opportunity to learn about what’s happening in their world. “Sometimes it comes out through a story, sometimes it’s non-verbal but all communication from a child is essential to try and understand what is going on in a young person’s world,” she added.