Let's pre­vent it

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

It was just a few days back a 13 year old boy com­mit­ted sui­cide in Thim­phu. It was such a dis­turb­ing news as this case in­volves the youngest mi­nor com­mit­ting sui­cide. More than 15 cases of sui­cide have al­ready been re­ported so far this year.

To­day we cel­e­brate the World Sui­cide Preven­tion Day with theme “Take a minute, change a life”. Ev­ery year, more than 800,000 peo­ple die by sui­cide and up to 25 times as many make a sui­cide at­tempt. Be­hind these statis­tics are the in­di­vid­ual sto­ries of those who have, for many dif­fer­ent rea­sons, ques­tioned the value of their own lives.

Each one of these in­di­vid­u­als is part of a com­mu­nity. Some may be well linked in to this com­mu­nity, and have a net­work of fam­ily, friends and work col­leagues or school mates. Oth­ers may be less well con­nected, and some may be quite iso­lated. Re­gard­less of the cir­cum­stances, com­mu­ni­ties have an im­por­tant role to play in sup­port­ing those who are vul­ner­a­ble.

Peo­ple who have lived through a sui­cide at­tempt have much to teach us about how the words and ac­tions of oth­ers are im­por­tant. They of­ten talk mov­ingly about reach­ing the point where they could see no al­ter­na­tive but to take their own life, and about the days, hours and minutes lead­ing up to this.

In Bhutan, sui­cide death rank among the top six lead­ing causes of death af­ter al­co­holic liver dis­eases, other cir­cu­la­tory dis­eases, and deaths due to road traf­fic ac­ci­dent. In a five years re­view of sui­cide cases from 2009- 2013 in Bhutan ac­cord­ing to the sui­cide study, 2014; a to­tal of 361 sui­cide death were doc­u­mented by Royal Bhutan Po­lice. This is an av­er­age of 73 sui­cide cases in a year or six sui­cide deaths in a month. Sui­cide deaths have been re­ported in all parts of Bhutan with few dis­tricts hav­ing higher bur­den as com­pared to oth­ers.

Most sui­cide deaths ( 88%) have oc­curred in ru­ral ar­eas, among mar­ried peo­ple ( 66%) and those with less ed­u­ca­tion. In 2016, the Na­tional Sui­cide Reg­istry has recorded 92 cases which show dras­tic in­crease of sui­cide within 2 years from 73 cases in 2014.

Men­tal ill­ness like psy­chosis, de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety is the key sui­cide risk fac­tors. Sui­cide is now rec­og­nized as a social is­sue and poli­cies to ad­dress sui­cide preven­tion has been main – streamed into the sect oral pro­grammes.

As we are all aware that each sui­cide is a tragic loss of life and it is not the way of han­dling any prob­lems in life. In or­der to pre­vent sui­cide we must think ev­ery life is pre­cious and help to pre­vent it in all pos­si­ble ways.

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