KATHMANDU : World Suicide Prevention Day is being observed today by organizing various programmes across the world, including in Nepal. The World Health Organization has determined ‘Working Together for Suicide Prevention’ as the main slogan for this year.
The Ministry of Health and Population as well non-government organisations working in the field of health are celebrating the day by organizing various virtua; public awareness programmes.
According to the most recent data by WHO, around 800,000 people a year commit suicide all around the world. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr. Jageshwor Gautam, said that suicide cases in Nepal have increased by 20 to 30 percent during the lockdown.
Spokesperson Gautam has urged people to create an environment for discussion surrounding mental health, especially during times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry has formulated policies to prevent suicide, he said.
According to data by the Nepal Police, a total of 29,905 people committed suicide between the year 2061/62 BS and 2071/72 BS. Similarly, 5,754 people committed suicide in the fiscal year 2075/76 BS, while 6,279 people took their lives in fiscal year 2076/77 BS.
Between 16 and 18 people commit suicide every day in Nepal, and according to data, 2,218 people have committed suicide between the months of Chaitra and Saun. Director at the Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Control Division, Dr. Basudev Pandey, has stated that a week-long public awareness programme has been organized to spread awareness on suicide.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had held a discussion on Tuesday with psychiatric doctors on how suicide be prevented. According to Dr. Phanindra Prasad Baral, awareness programmes have been launched through virtual mediums. Patan Mental Hospital and Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital have launched a helpline service to create awareness and deal with suicide cases, he said.
Chief of the Mental Disease Department at the Teaching Hospital, Dr. Saroj Prasad Ojha believes that the government should bring bout better policies to control suicide rates. Easy availability of pesticides, ropes and poisonous substances in the market should be controlled, he said. Global COVID-19 pandemic is found to have wrecked its havoc on the general people, where many have been found to be suffering from various mental health issues after being left jobless.