Strategy to save: The National Suicide Prevention Strategy must percolate to every district

Source: The post is based on the article “Strategy to save – The National Suicide Prevention Strategy must percolate to every district” published in The Hindu on 23rd November.

Syllabus: GS 2- Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

Relevance: About India’s Suicide Prevention Strategy.

News: Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced a National Suicide Prevention Strategy.

What is the National Suicide Prevention Strategy?
Read here: Union Health Ministry rolls out country’s first suicide prevention policy
What is the status of suicides in India?

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%.

The most common reasons include a) Family problems and illnesses, b) Other causes include marital conflicts, love affairs, bankruptcy, substance abuse and dependence. In approximately 10% of cases, the cause of suicide remains unknown.

What is the significance of India’s Suicide Prevention Strategy?

The strategy calls attention to a) The massive burden of suicides in the country and initiates steps to achieve a reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030, b) Focus on multiple sectoral collaborations to provide a cohesive strategy and achieve the intended reduction in the number of suicides, and c) Create mental health curriculum in educational institutions within the next eight years.

What needs to be done to effectively prevent suicides?

India needs to work on a) Targeted intervention programmes, and stigma reduction strategies, b) Reduce access to pesticides and alcoholism.

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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