Increase in deaths of international students in Canada TORONTO: A Toronto funeral home says a spike in international student deaths highlights the issue of mental health challenges facing young people and is a matter of grave concern. According to Lotus Funeral and Cremation Centre, based in Etobicoke, Toronto, there has been an increase in the number of young bodies being sent to India and the center believes that some of these deaths are the result of suicides. Lotus Funerals has been repatriating the remains/bodies of Indian nationals from across Canada for many years at the request of the Indian Consulate General or other members of the community.
There used to be a maximum of two cases in a month involving both students and work permit holders. But this number has more than doubled since last year.
Now the bodies of about 4 to 5 people are sent back to India every month. Some months even 7 were sent. Annual statistics of bodies sent to India, most of which were young people. Funeral home workers say they are sometimes disturbed by the marks on the bodies. Kamal Bhardwaj said that sometimes there is a noose mark on the neck of the dead body, which makes us think that the deceased may have committed suicide. Although strangulation can be caused by other events, funeral home workers say that many other cases show signs of drowning or drug overdose, which could also be a sign of suicide.
Funeral home workers could not give the exact cause of death for privacy reasons, but told CBC News that only one or two deaths per month among students and other young Indians are due to natural causes. The remaining deaths are due to road accidents, suicides, drug overdoses or other causes. Students and advocates say they are deeply concerned about the mental health and rising suicide rates of international students. He said that the number of international students coming from India is increasing in Canada, so this issue especially needs attention and action.