Every year more than 800,000 people die by suicide. It means around one person do suicide every 40 seconds. India is accounted for the highest estimated number of suicides in the world. Suicide rates show a lead among the young and the elderly people.
According to WHO report, 258,075 people committed suicide in India in 2012, with 99,977 women and 158,098 men taking their lives. India’s suicide rate was 21.1 per 100,000 people.
According to Indian National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data for 2014, the rate of farmer suicides is high at almost 30%, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. It also accounts for a significant number of suicides due to health problems. Only 5% of all suicides in these states are due to debt or bankruptcy whereas illness accounted for 26.2% and 21.5% in Andra Pradesh and Maharashtra respectively. Poor health means a lot of financial pressure on the family.
According to WHO, suicide is a largely preventable public health problem, causing almost half of all violent death as well as economic costs in the billions of dollars. There is an urgent need for the government to increase spend on public health, develop a robust health policy to make tertiary health care services affordable as well as increase awareness and preventive care measures.
It is estimated that around 30% of global suicides are due to pesticide self-poisoning. Many people thinking of taking their life or who have attempted suicide are not seeking help. Therefore, they do not get the help that they need.
There are some measures that can be taken at the population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts. This include:
* Reducing access to the means of suicide (e.g. pesticide, firearms, certain medications);
* Reporting by media in a responsible way;
* Introducing alcohol policies to reduce the harmful use of alcohol;
* Easy identification, treatment and care of people with mental and substance use disorders, chronic pain and acute emotional distress;
* Training of non-specialized health workers in the assessment and management of suicidal behaviour.
* Follow-up care for people who attempted suicide and provision of community support.