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Family issues a major cause of suicides: RTI

mumbai Updated: Nov 13, 2016 23:44 IST
Jayprakash  Naidu
Jayprakash Naidu
Hindustan Times
Sakinaka suicide

Police taking the dead bodies of the three sisters who were killed by their father Mangesh Anerao.(HT file photo)

On average at least one out of three persons, who committed suicide between 2013 and 2015, took the drastic step due to family problems, states information sought from Mumbai Police under Right To Information (RTI) ACT by HT. The only silver lining though is that the number of suicides decreased last year.

Speaking on the latest murder-suicide in Saki Naka, Dr Shubhangi Parkar, head of psychiatry department, KEM hospital and chief of BMC helpline for mental health issues, said family members of Mangesh Anerao, 40, should have identified signs of his ‘mental state’ and sought medical help for him.

Speaking to HT, Parkar said, “In this case, Anerao’s alcohol addiction and unemployment worked as added factors for the extreme step. A person before taking such extreme step gives signs, which need to be identified by the family, relatives or friends. The family needs to seek medical help and ask for more intervention from friends and other family members.”

As per the reply to the RTI query that was filed earlier this year, eight persons committed suicide due to property dispute in 2013. In 2014, 22 persons (all men) committed suicide for the same reason. Similarly, 17 persons (all men) committed suicide due to property dispute in 2015.

Between 2013 and 2015, about 3,640 people committed suicide, of which 41% of them committed suicide due to family problems which tops the list made by Mumbai Police on several reasons for committing suicide. About 142 men committed suicide due to alcohol/drug addiction and 226 men due to unemployment.

In Anerao’s case, he too was facing family and economic problems. He was unemployed and had got addicted to alcohol, the police said.

Parkar said, “Anerao’s case showed he had a very severe condition of mind. We need to find out if he had any mental illness and what kind of personality he had. Family being vigilant is an essential aspect. But in case a man is alcoholic, the family helping starts fighting instead of helping him because they don’t understand the disturbed mind. We have a BMC helpline [022 -24131212], where two women round the clock counsel callers, including those who feel suicidal. People harbouring such thoughts should call us immediately for help,” she said.