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Suicides in India

Suicides in India have increased by 23% from 2000 to 2015 according to data released by the National Health Profile, 2018. India now accounts for over a third of the world’s annual female suicides and nearly a fourth of male suicides, a significant increase in its global share from 1990. Suicide is a major public health problem, with far-reaching socioeconomic, political, and emotional consequences.

Data: 2015 NCRB Report


  • Unemployment and financial constraints.
  • Farmer distress in terms of failure of crops leading to debt burden and in longer term, debt trap.
  • Social Exclusion from the society in the name of patriarchy and caste system is again a major culprit. i.e., Rohit Vermulah case.
  • Mental health is one of the most important reason related directly or indirectly to most of the reasons.
  • Lack of professional assistance in case of suicidal tendencies just adds up to the numbers.
  • Unable to cope with fast changing, digitized, connected world especially in the youngsters.
  • Emotional distress due to fragmented modern families. ‘Family Problems’ and ‘Illness’ were the major causes of suicides which accounted for in 2015.
  • Marriage Related Issues, Bankruptcy, Drug Abuse/Alcoholic Addiction and Failure in Examination are to add a few.

Data: 2015 NCRB Report


  • Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 is a patient-friendly act and aims to protect the rights of people with mental illnesses. It also takes into account the caregivers’ concerns and encourages their involvement.
  • Introduction of Health insurance and health services for poor via Ayushman Bharat PMJAY and Ayushman Bharat-Health & Wellness Centres (AB-HWC)
  • Introduction of “Gatekeepers” in the society. These ‘gatekeepers’ would infiltrate society and keep their senses open to detect cases which they report for counselling.
  • De-criminalization of suicide. Moreover providing the mental counselling to the victim and it’s family as the initiative.
  • Improved health infrastructure and different initiatives by NIHMANS will surely contribute towards the positive side.
  • Introduction of yoga, sports and other activities for students to make their life productive and indulging.


  • Improving Social, Economic and Educational Status of the poor and vulnerable section is surely the need of the hour.
  • The government and the Administration needs to shift towards accuracy of data and it’s analysis.
  • Gaps in the public health system can be potentially addressed through tele-psychiatry (tele-medicine) as done by SCARF foundation in Tamil Nadu.
  • There’s a need to address the substantial regional and state-level variation in suicide rates.
  • Medical tourism and Mental Awareness Campaigns can be a huge step towards generating awareness.
  • Planning should give close consideration to trends by sex and age as recently done by NCRB in its report.
  • Universal Health Assurance Programme should cover mental health

We need to stop the national loss in valuable human resources which is owed to the rising tendency of young people to commit suicide when facing seemingly unconquerable adversity. As iterated by Justice (retired) Joseph, the government is to compensate the families of farmers who commit suicide owning to extreme poverty because it should be seen as the State’s failure to guarantee Right to Life. It may not look like but it is also a key to Achieving the SDG target.

A National Suicide Prevention Strategy is the need of the hour: Vice President India

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

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