Preventing suicide a national concern
Now with the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the National Board of Certified Councilors (NBCC) based in US and RENEW, Bhutan will have certified counselors to intervene in preventing suicides.
Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wang- chuck , the royal patron for RENEW graced the opening session of the conference where signing of memorandum of understanding took place last Friday at the 3rd Biennial Conference in Thimphu.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay in his key note address thanked RENEW for organizing this conference soon after the nation observed ‘National Suicide Prevention Week’.
The Prime Minister conveyed his gratitude to Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck, under whose royal patronage, the Bhutan Board for Certified Counselors (BBCC) with NBCC has already started recognizing and certifying counselors towards building a professional counseling standard in Bhutan.
The Prime Minister said that suicide death ranks among the top six leading causes of deaths in Bhutan. Every month around 7 people in our country die by suicide. He said that many more are treated in the BHUs
and hospital for suicide attempts and deliberate self-harm, and there must be many others not even seeking care and treatment. What is even more disturbing is that suicide occurs among our most productive people; people aged between 15-45 years.
“Suicide is a tragic loss of life and a cause of extreme suffering both for people living with the loss and to society as a whole. But we must not forget the fact that to a large extent, suicide is preventable with appropriate interventions provided at the right time. For a nation committed to promoting happiness and upholding the values and ideals of Gross National Happiness, there is a great sense of urgency to overcome this painful trend in our society “, he added.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the government is deeply committed to addressing suicide prevention as an urgent priority. Therefore, he has requested the stakeholders to study and to develop our nation’s first comprehensive Suicide Prevention Action Plan. This action plan has been approved and endorsed by the government and has been submitted for implementation. The goal is to have zero deaths by suicide; no family, village, or community would want anyone dying of suicide.
Finally the Prime Minister called upon all agencies, individuals and those affected for a collective action to save precious lives by preventing further suicidal deaths. Every suicide death is a huge loss to our society.
To highlight the seriousness of suicide in Bhutan and all over, the conference themed ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching out and Saving Lives’ is organized by RENEW in collaboration with NBCC.
Her Majesty Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay and Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk with the participants of the Conference on Preventing Suicide