Rajasthan records over 48,000 suicides in 10 years, NGO calls for crisis intervention centre
An organisation has demanded that the Rajasthan government set up a crisis intervention centre to prevent suicides, which were more than 48,000 in the state from 2007 to 2017.
Analysing suicide cases, Arogyasiddhi Foundation, a Jhunjhunu-based NGO, has said the reasons are depression, insolvency, loan, family disputes, marital problems, terminal illness, and unemployment.
“A crisis intervention centre is the need of the hour to prevent suicides. Through this centre, people can get consultation and advice from experts and their lives can be saved on time,” said foundation chairman Bhupesh Dixit who is a public health expert, research coordinator and social worker.
“The need is to implement the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 in the state; a crisis intervention centre should be started under the district mental health programme as per the National Mental Health Policy, 2014,” Dixit said, pointing out that 48,969 people killed themselves between 2007 and 2017. “Suicides are becoming a social problem and the need is to look into this, so that lives can be saved.”
According to National Health Profile-2018, suicides have increased by 23% in India -- 1,08,593 people killed themselves in 2000 and 1,33,623 in 2015. Maximum suicides were committed by people in the 18-45 age group.
State Crime Record Bureau (SCRB) data shows that 4430 people killed themselves in Rajasthan in 2007, which declined to 3765 in 2017.
The Rajasthan government has constituted the State Mental Healthcare Authority (SMHA) this month and National Health Mission (NHM) additional mission director Arushi Malik has been appointed its chief executive officer.
“As per the Mental Healthcare Act-2017, the authority has been constituted and CEO has been appointed,” state health secretary Naveen Jain said.
Rajasthan is one of the leading states to implement Mental Healthcare Act-2017, Jain said, adding that apart from SMHA, mental health boards will be constituted in all districts. As per the provisions of the Act, mental health clinics in the state will have to register themselves in the next six months, he said.
“Preventing suicides has been included in this act as a special priority considering suicide as illness.” Mental illness treatment is provided at all district hospitals and it is free for children and senior citizens, Jain said.
A toll-free helpline ‘Mansanwad’ was launched on October 10, 2017 on the World Mental Health Day at the psychiatric centre associated with Sawai Man Singh Medical College. The toll-free number of the helpline is 18001800018.