Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recently announced a National Suicide Prevention Strategy.

 

What is the strategy?

  • It is the first of its kind in the country, with time-bound action plans and multi-sectoral collaborations to achieve reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030.
  • The strategy broadly seeks to establish effective surveillance mechanisms for suicide within the next three years.
  • It aims to establish psychiatric outpatient departments that will provide suicide prevention services through the District Mental Health Programme in all districts within the next five years.
  • It also seeks to integrate a mental well-being curriculum in all educational institutions within the next eight years.
  • It envisages developing guidelines for responsible media reporting of suicides, and restricting access to means of suicide.
  • The stress is on developing community resilience and societal support for suicide prevention.
  • While the strategy is in line with the WHOs South East-Asia Region Strategy for suicide prevention, it says it will remain true to India’s cultural and social milieu.

 

Suicides in India

  • In India, more than one lakh lives are lost every year to suicide, and it is the top killer in the 15-29 years category.
  • In the past three years, the suicide rate has increased from 10.2 to 11.3 per 1,00,000 population.
  • The most common reasons for suicide include family problems and illnesses, which account for 34% and 18% of all suicide-related deaths.