87 suicides so far, UT goes past last yr’s toll
64 SUICIDES REPORTED SINCE MARCH 22, WHEN RESTRICTIONS WERE IMPOSED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN VIEW OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
CHANDIGARH: Eighty-seven people took their lives in Chandigarh this year, with 64 suicides reported since March 22, when restrictions were imposed for the first time in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At 17, the highest number of suicides were recorded in June, even as the Centre had started easing curbs that month.
A total of 63 persons had ended their lives in the corresponding period (January 1 to August 24) last year, when the total toll had gone up to 86.
A senior police official who wished to remain anonymous, said, investigations pointed towards stress acting as a trigger. Loss of earnings and jobs and domestic disputes during the pandemic, too, affected the victims. As no suicide notes were recovered in a large number of cases police had to depend on statements from families who attributed the reason to depression.
“It is the moment when you choose death over life and if you survive you get on with life. But you need immense support from the family and positivity to start living again,” said a Hallomajra resident who attempted suicide in May this year. The 39-year-old dhaba owner from Zirakpur was left penniless after business folded up during the lockdown. An alert neighbour saved his life.
EXPERTS: LOOK OUT FOR SYMPTOMS, REACH OUT
“Feelings of hopelessness or persistent sadness or death wishes are also symptoms for which we need to visit a doctor. Offer support, say you are there for the person, families need to be with such a person for 24 hours,” said
Dr Bhupinderjit (Simmi) Waraich, a mental health and behavioural sciences consultant.
Dr Roshan Lal, professor, department of psychology, Panjab University, said, “empathy” for a suicidal person from family and friends was required.
Loneliness, uncertainty, loss of financial security, business losses were key triggers this year, so helplines had to be popularised, said Dr Manoj K Bajaj, honorary general secretary, Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists.