87 sui­cides so far, UT goes past last yr’s toll

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - Htregion - Shailee Do­gra

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.

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