Sensitization is paramount to prevent suicides, say doctors

Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day

Hyderabad: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has themed this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), like for the past two years, ‘Creating hope through action’.

The latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) indicates a 7.2 per cent rise in suicide cases in India from 11.3in 2020 to 12 in 2021.

Telangana reported 6.2 per cent of the total suicides in the country, amounting to 10,171 deaths in 2021. The suicide rate (number of suicides per one lakh population) stands at 24.7 per cent in the country.

As per the report, amongst various factors, family problems were the major reason for suicides at 33.2 per cent, followed by illness 18.6 per cent and unknown causes 9.7.

With the rising incidents, experts stressed the need to identify and address the mental health issues on a priority basis, especially among students.

Dr Ajay Kumar Joopaka, associate professor of psychiatry and consultant psychiatrist, Gandhi Medical College, listed some prime causes for suicidal tendencies in individuals.

“We need to understand why one particular student takes the extreme step in a group of students, exposed to a common environment. Genetic predisposition is an important reason. Inability to cope with failures, family discord, substance abuse and intoxication are the other major reasons for a person to contemplate and commit suicide”, said Dr Joopaka.

Dr Srikanth Goggi, consultant clinical psychologist and vice-president, Telangana Association of Clinical Psychologists, said that suicide was not a spur of the moment act but had a background to it. It is inappropriate to look at any suicide separately from the causes.

Dr Goggi said, “Suicidal ideation is a result of thoughts, impulses and actions where an individual constantly focuses on dying as they find no meaning in their lives. The most vulnerable individuals for suicide are those with major depression disorder, along with other co-morbid mental conditions like OCD, schizophrenia, dysthymia. One should notice the warning signs in a person like withdrawal from social life, hopelessness and helplessness, and address the issue”.

He added that during a counseling session, suicide risk assessment is carried to identify if a person has suicidal tendencies, because in many cases, even the family is not aware of an individual having suicidal tendencies.

Doctors also said that mental health issues had increased significantly post-Covid as people were struggling with emotional and financial crises.

The maximum number of calls received by 1 Life, a suicide prevention organization that offers 24/7 helpline for crisis, are from those in the age-group of 15-25 years.

K Rebecca Maria, counseling psychologist at 1 Life, said, “We receive 30-50 calls on a daily basis, with the maximum calls being from students and youngsters. Academics, peer and family pressure are some of the factors that impact most of them. Most of them feel isolated and hopeless”.

“Although there has been lot of awareness at various levels, more sensitization is needed at many levels, including parents, teachers and communities to prevent the risk of suicides. Moreover, families play a pivotal role in supporting an individual in distress”, advised Dr Goggi.

Tragic state-of-affairs:

Six Intermediate students, including three girls, die by suicide after the announcement of results this year.

Two students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) take their own lives

Death of three students reported from IIIT-Basar

21 students in Central universities, IITs, NITs, IIITs, IIMs and IISERs died by suicide across the country in 2018

The toll was 19 in 2019, seven each in 2020 and 2021 and 24 in 2022

21 students have died by suicide in the first eight months of 2023

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story