Oct 10, 2011

Sinking emotional quotient: A suicide attempt every 4 minutes.. coverage in 10th October 2011 Deccan Chronicle..

Report says 15 suicides happens every hour in country, with one in three victims aged between 15 and 29 years.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2009 report leaves a chilling statistic of 15 suicides every hour in the country, with one in three victims aged between 15 and 29 years. The age group is resorting to suicides as the emotional quotient dips and impulsiveness rides high, say experts as October 10 is observed as World Mental Health Day.

  • "If we take the population size between 15 and 29 years, we have four suicide attempts per minute in India. Everything has changed, from the lethality of methods used to the reasons, urban areas have terribly gone wrong in reading the young minds," Sunil Mittal, senior consultant, psychiatry and psychotherapy at the Delhi Psychiatry Centre, told the media.
  • "There are aspirations and the inability to cope with shattered dreams. When you are young, you are short-tempered, judgmental, impulsive and tolerance is low," Mittal added.
  • Problems ranging from a broken relationship to financial crunch are causing mental health disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. Gender, say experts, has a lot to do with the reasons over which a person goes for suicide.
  • "Suicide comes later. Before that, there is a lot playing in the head of any person with suicidal tendencies. For women, emotional reasons count more, but for men it is the financial world and dependent family that could be the reason," Mittal explained.
  • The NCRB report also pointed out that social and economic causes led most of the males to commit suicide, while emotional and personal causes drove women to end their lives. States such as Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa reported far fewer suicides that the metropolitan cities.
  • "If you take into account the existent rural and urban divide, then this could be logical. But the reporting of suicide is not common in India because there is a stigma associated with it. When someone attempts suicide, the family prefers to bury the matter quickly without involving the police," said Rajesh Sagar, assistant professor at the psychiatry department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
  • Farmer suicides had shot up by seven per cent between 2008 and 2009, with nearly 17,368 cases reported across the country.
  • Experts blame the communication gap and individualistic lives that the youngsters are leading for suicides in a section of society."Upbringing these days is amidst verticals such as stiff competition and rush. When we see parents coming to us at the AIIMS, we notice the sense of reward is missing. Adolescents are diagnosed with high-risk behaviour that can later take the shape of suicide," Sagar told the media, adding that "supervision and the communication bridge between parents and children is nowhere to be seen".Sagar added: "This is just one aspect of it. At AIIMS, we try and tell families that give the person who has attempted suicide a chance. Suicide itself denotes that the person was desperate to find a way out and cried for help."
  • Even as the World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that depression, one of the causes of suicide, will be the second-most prevalent condition worldwide by 2020, experts say the thrust lies on decriminalsing suicide."It's high time we decriminalised suicide. The problem is cases of suicide or attempts at suicide are under-reported due to fear of medico-legal cases," Mittal said. "Even if they are reported, there might not be much persecution, but the person is stigmatised for the entire life."
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Today 10th October 2011 is World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day (October 10), is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization. This day, each October thousands of supports come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to Mental Illness and its major effects on peoples' life worldwide.

Mental Health refers to a broad array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental well-being component included in the WHO's definition of health: "A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease". It is related to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, and the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental disorders.

The theme for Mental Health Day, 2011 is "The Great Push: Investing in mental health." This year, the day hopes to enhance discussions on mental disorders, and to encourage investments in prevention, treatment and promoting awareness of mental illnesses.

Issues of Mental Health Care
  • Dispensing mental heakth  services at community centers and general hospitals and not merely at larger hospitals.
  • Promote and safeguard mental health at the early stage—among children—to prevent mental diseases in adulthood and old age.
  • Increase investment in mental health care and make it more effective across the globe.
  • Creating awareness too requires funds and is hard to come by.
  • People with mental disorders are mostly neglected and traumatized. In several places, mental diseases are not categorized as an illness.
  • Even the treatment that patients receive is far from humane because they are considered to be weak or immoral and seemingly deserve nothing better. It is very common to see human rights being violated in homes, roads or at treatment centers all through the world, when dealing with mentally-ill  individuals
Need of the Hour
Mental Health is a priority for all people. Even though mental health services are increasingly being recognized as critical, they still get short shrift. They do not get the resources and support they deserve
Consistent action requiring involvement of multisectoral partnership including Govt, private sectors, NGOs and the government is the need of the hour and this will go a long way in ensuring a sound mind, in a sound body, to all.