Monday January 20, 2020

Suicide Every Year Takes Lives of Estimated 800,000 People

The WHO said Monday suicides are preventable and fewer people would die by self-inflicted means

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Suicide, Lives, People
FILE - Some of the 660 American flags on display, illustrating the number of U.S. veterans who commit suicide each year, are seen by the banner on the church lawn of St. Peter's Reformed Church, in Zelienople, Pa., Aug. 30, 2019. VOA

On the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday, the World Health Organization is calling for action to stop the global epidemic, which every year takes the lives of an estimated 800,000 people.

The WHO said Monday suicides are preventable and fewer people would die by self-inflicted means if more nations employed proven suicide prevention strategies.  And yet, the United Nations agency says only 38 countries are taking life-saving actions.

Every 40 seconds, one person around the world commits suicide, with young people particularly vulnerable, WHO reported.  Data show suicide is the second-leading cause of death among those between the ages of 15 and 29, and is the leading cause of death among teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19.

The report finds the highest number of suicides — 79 percent — are in low-and medium-income countries, while suicide rates are highest in the richer countries.

Suicide, Lives, People
On the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday, the World Health Organization is calling for action to stop the global epidemic, which every year takes the lives. Pixabay

Alexandra Fleischmann, WHO scientist in the department of mental health and substance abuse,said pesticide self-poisoning is a common means of suicide in agricultural areas of poorer nations.

“About one-fifth of all suicides are happening with this method,” she said. “And, we know that it oftentimes is happening out of the moment because of distress, impulsively.

“Usually the persons are ambivalent about taking their own lives.  And, in this moment, they should not have the quick and ready access to the means to commit suicide,” Fleischmann said.

She added many of these suicides can be prevented by banning highly hazardous pesticides in high-risk countries.  She said preventive measures also should be taken in regard to other common methods of suicide, notably hanging and firearms.

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WHO reported important risk factors include a previous suicide attempt, mental health problems, depression, loss, stress, violence and alcohol abuse.

Interventions with a proven record of success include restricting access to means, responsible media reporting that does not glamorize suicide, and teaching young people how to cope with life’s stresses. (VOA)

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Suicide Rates Increasing Among Self-Employed Than Unemployed

More self-employed committing suicides than unemployed

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Self-Employed suicide
More self-employed people are committing suicide every day than the unemployed. Lifetime Stock

It may appear strange but more self-employed people are committing suicide every day than the unemployed. People with their own startups are likely to be depressed.

It may be a testimony to the bleak economic situation and the slump in various industries that an average of 36 self-employed people ended their lives every day as against a lesser number of 35 unemployed people.

While the government has been offering several categories of loans for the self-employed, the downturn in commercial activity in general, indebtedness and the stress of running a business may be taking a toll on the self-employed. Self-employed category accounted for 9.8 per cent of total suicide victims (13,149 out of 1,34,516).

Suicides by the self-employed and the unemployed in 2018, with the two categories together accounted for 26,085 deaths during the year, according to government data. The self employed figure of suicides at 13,149 is more than the suicides by the unemployed at 12,936.

Both the categories combined outnumbered the suicide figures of those working in the farming sector at 10,349 in 2018, according to data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Self-Employed
The self employed figure of suicides at 13,149 is more than the suicides by the unemployed at 12,936. Lifetime Stock

“Each suicide is a personal tragedy that prematurely takes the life of an individual and has a continuing ripple effect, dramatically affecting the lives of families, friends and communities. Every year, more than 1 lakh people commit suicide in our country. There are various causes of suicides like professional/career problems, sense of isolation, abuse, violence, family problems, mental disorders, addiction to alcohol, financial loss, chronic pain etc,” says the NCRB adding it collects data on suicides from police recorded suicide cases.

A total of 1.34 lakh suicides were reported in the country during 2018, showing an increase of 3.6 per cent in comparison to 2017. The rate of suicides, which means deaths per one lakh population, also increased by 0.3 per cent during 2018 over 2017, the NCRB stated.

In a shocking revelation, one unemployed person committed suicide every hour during 2018. Of the total suicides, 92,114 male and 42,391 female, were reported in the country, NCRB’s data on “Suicide in India-2018” says.

The latest data, issued by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under Ministry of Home Affairs, reveals that a total of 12,936 unemployed persons committed suicide in 2018, which accounted for the 9.6 per cent of the total suicides, were of aged below 18 years to above 60 years.

Those below 18 years include 31 males and nine females while those between 18 and 30 years comprise 1,240 male and 180 female. A total of 868 male and 95 female were aged between 30 and 45 years. A number of 237 males and 21 females were aged between 45 and 60 years while 2,431 males and 310 females were above 60 years. Of the total suicides by unemployed persons, males are 10,687 while the females are 2,249.4

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Majority of 12.3 per cent suicides committed by unemployed persons were in Kerala (1,585 out of 12,936 suicides), 12.2 per cent in Tamil Nadu (1,579 suicides), 9.7 per cent in Maharashtra (1,260 suicides), 8.5 per cent in Karnataka (1,094 suicides) and 7 per cent in Uttar Pradesh (902 suicides). (IANS)