[Answered] What are the reasons behind the increasing suicide rate in India? How does the National Suicide Prevention Strategy aim to tackle this menace?

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain the reasons behind the increasing suicide rate in India. Also write how the National Suicide Prevention Strategy aims to tackle this menace.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

In India, more than one lakh lives are lost every year to suicide. In the past three years, the suicide rate has increased from 10.2 to 11.3 per 1,00,000 population. As per National Crime Records Bureau statistics, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka have the highest percentage share of suicides (2018-2020), ranging between 8% to 11%.

Reasons behind the increasing suicide rate in India:

  • Family problems:  account for 34% of all suicide-related deaths. With urbanisation and the breakdown of the traditional large family support system, suicide tendencies increase.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment rate in India is very high. In Sikkim, about 27% of the state’s suicides were related to unemployment and found to be most common among those between 21 and 30 years of age.
  • Failure in exams: Academic pressure, social pressures, and the breakdown of support systems are a few major causes of suicide among youth.
  • Lack of professional help:  According to a report by India Spend, India has 87% shortage in mental-health professionals and low public spending on mental health.
  • Nearly 18% of all suicide-related deaths are due to illness.

Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced a National Suicide Prevention Strategy, to achieve reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030. The National Suicide Prevention Strategy is significant to tackle this menace:

  • The strategy is in line with the WHO’s South East-Asia Region Strategy for suicide prevention.
  • The Strategy is etched with evidence-based practices to reduce the number of suicides and strings together multiple sectoral collaborations to provide a cohesive strategy and achieve the intended reduction in the number of suicides.
  • It commits to establishing effective surveillance mechanisms within the next three years, and establishes psychiatric outpatient departments to provide suicide prevention services through the District Mental Health Programme in all districts within the next five years.
  • The Strategy also intends to write in mental health in the curriculum in educational institutions within the next eight years.
  • Addressing issues relevant to India, including access to pesticides, and alcoholism, has set the Strategy on the path towards achievement of the goals.
  • Develop community resilience and societal support for suicide prevention.

States need to participate enthusiastically in the rollout of the Suicide Prevention Strategy to ensure its proper implementation of the strategy in the federal country.

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