World Suicide Prevention Day - Disturbing Facts, Worrying Concerns
Daijiworld Media Network
Sep 10: September 10, 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the World Suicide Prevention Day. With suicides and suicidal behavior becoming major health issue across the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) observes this day as World Suicide Prevention Day to create awareness among the people. The main aim of this initiative is to make our policy makers and the general public understands that suicide preventable and that suicide is not a permanent solution to a temporary problem, as many believe it to be.
World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about a million people in the world commit suicide every year, 200,000 of which are in China. With 187,000 suicides in 2010 India is at the second spot. Recently there was another equally disturbing and shocking report published in the British Medical Journal the Lancet just two months back, which said that India has the highest suicide rate among youth in the world and suicide has become the second leading cause of death among youngsters in India. An equally disturbing revelation of this study is that young adults in the age group of 15 to 30 are the most vulnerable to suicide. Poisoning, hanging and self-immolation were the commonly used methods for committing suicide in India.
According to this study the four southern states of Andra Pradesh Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka together account for nearly 40% of the total number of suicides reported in the country. Kerala which is India’s most literate states has one of the highest suicide rates in the country.
Youngsters on Suicidal Path
Another recent study attributes that depression, alcohol abuse, violence and education, social and cultural pressures and lack of emotional intelligence are pushing youngsters to the threshold of finding a lasting solution to a temporary problem in the form of suicide. It also means that the mental health of young India is hanging precariously and needs all out efforts from all concerned to handle it with utmost care and sensitivity so that young and precious lives are saved.
Suicide rate among students has also seen an alarming rise in India in the recent past as they are unable to handle the pressure and burden of expectations from parents and relatives to excel in academics. Family and peer pressure is driving students to take the extreme step of committing suicide and this is the one area which needs to be handled guardedly.
This is evident from the fact that soon after the announcements of results of various public and competitive exams there is a spurt in suicides by students. With society equating success only with academic excellence students who are unable to cope or match the expectations of the family and friends succumb to the belief that suicide will ensure an end to all their pressing problems. They fail to see that those bad times will pass and in a moment of weakness and frustration they decide to put an end to all their sadness and miseries. They fail to see that their momentary madness affects people around them, their families and near and dear ones, a blow which may prove even more fatal in some cases to their families. This is because the psychological and social impact of suicide on the family and the community is huge. It is a pity that students fail to realize committing suicide is not the only solution for failure in exams.
More than 65% of India’s population is below the age of 35 and increasing suicide in this productive age group is something which our country can ill afford considering that we project human resource as our strength. Sadly even our educational institutions concentrate only on improving the intellectual skills of students. These students are unable to handle their emotions and feelings and they are ill equipped to face challenges of life. It is their impulsive emotions which overwhelm them and the root cause of this is lack of Emotional Intelligence which refers to the ability of an individual to perceive, control and evaluate emotions.
In India today the number of working couples is on the increase and nuclear families have become common and therefore today’s youngsters lack the family support other than that of their parents, which a joint family used to provide earlier. Without a suitable outlet to vent their emotions or manage them effectively these youngsters find suicide as a desperate way out of escaping from their problems.
Needless to say parents are in a better position to deal with the rocky teenage years of their children and bring them up as emotionally healthy adults. Even teachers are in an unenviable position to nurture these students as emotionally healthy adults because students spend most part of their active time in schools and colleges. If we are able to inculcate confidence, self control, positive attitude and the power of resilience in our youngsters, which forms the essence of emotional intelligence, half the battle is won. Our youngsters should be able to face challenges bravely rather than succumbing to the pulls and pressures of dealing with multitude of issues they encounter in their ponderous efforts to become successful in life.
A large number of Indian women commit suicide due to domestic violence and there are farmers who commit suicide as they are unable to take care of their families or repay their debts. All this boils down to one thing – that there something basically wrong somewhere and has to be dealt with the seriousness it deserves.
Suicide is a multifaceted problem and complex issue and it needs to be tackled with a multipronged and multidimensional al approach. We cannot allow our precious human resource to become a huge social, economic and emotional burden on our society.
The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day this year is "Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope". We in India need to instill this hope in our society rather than allow our people to take recourse in suicides.