Suicides: Chandigarh saw 41% jump in suicide cases in 2018, second-highest in country
As per the record, 88% suicide victims had studied up to class 12 or less and 87% of them earned less than Rs 1 lakh a yearUpdated: Jan 12, 2020 00:48 IST
With a 41.6% increase in number of suicides between 2017 and 2018, the city witnessed the second-highest increase in number of suicides in the country, second only to Arunachal Pradesh at 48.7%, as per accidental deaths and suicides report released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently.
In 2018, there were 160 suicides in the city, while in 2017 there were only 113 cases, a slight dip from 123 suicides in 2016. Of these, 52.4% suicides (84 in number) were due to family problems. Chandigarh ranks fourth highest in number of suicides among all states and UTs.
75% of suicide victims were men, with the largest chunk of victims formed by salaried professionals (60) followed by unemployed (26) self employed (26) students (23) and housewives (21).
Married people, at 60% (96), were more vulnerable than those who were single. Poorer people were more vulnerable as 87% suicides were committed by people earning less than ₹1 lakh per year, while none of the victims were earning more than ₹10 lakh per year.
Most victims were less educated. 88% (141) victims had studied till class 12 or less while 10% had completed their graduation or had opted for higher studies. 71% of the victims had hanged themselves.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP),UT Nilambari Jagdale said those susceptible to suicide must be approached and helped before it was too late. “This is not a policing problem but a symptom of challenges and stress triggers prevalent in society these days. Everyone may not be able to cope with these factors, and I urge these individuals to get help.” She said the suicide rate is directly proportional to family disintegration, increased divorce rate and unemployment.
Head of psychology department at MCM DAV College in Sector 36, Geeta Bhagat said rising numbers of suicides in the city can be attributed to the demographics of the city. “The city comprises predominantly of school and college students, or retired senior citizens suffering from the empty nest syndrome. Both sections of society are prone to depression which can ultimately lead them to take a drastic step.” To address this problem, she said that talking about mental health and depression needs to be considered normal. “Exercising is the best way to bust stress and to ensure that your body gets enough feel-good chemicals. I urge everyone to participate in activities such as meditation and yoga to manage their stress,” she added.
As per professor emeritus at department of psychology, Panjab University, Jitendra Mohan said number of suicides has increased because the separation between children and their parents and teachers is increasing. “Increased usage of cellphones has also affected the support system of families. Students must have access to trained counsellors.” He added that people kills themselves in the heat of the moment, and if that crucial moment passes then it is unlikely the individual would try to commit suicide again. He added that the administration must work towards making a 24x7 suicide prevention helpline for people to call and seek help.