Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Bad news. Bhopal witnessed 19 cases of youths taking their lives within first 20 days of December 2022, implying that there was one suicide in the state capital every day.
The chilling figures clearly hint towards deteriorating mental health conditions of youths of the city. Of the 19 suicidal deaths, 17 people hanged themselves to death while other two consumed poisonous substance.
The rise in number of suicides comes three months after state medical education minister Vishvas Sarang said in September 2022 that the state government had formed a task force to draft a suicide prevention strategy for Madhya Pradesh. Sarang had also mentioned that MP would be the first state to launch the initiative. Worse, no public awareness campaigns were run to check suicidal tendencies.
Lack of coping skills
Psychiatrist Dr Manish Borasi attributed the rise to inability of youths in coping with life after Covid-19. A number of youths were either deprived of jobs or suffered a hiatus in their education during pandemic, thereby compelling them to take the extreme step. Drug and substance abuse is another contributing factor, he added.
Another psychiatrist Dr Santosh Somsundaram said that seeking mental aid was still treated as a taboo due to which many mental health cases didn’t come to light. Staying in seclusion and reluctance to interact with people are precursors of suicidal tendencies, which should be checked, he said.
Additional Commissioner of Police Sachin Atulkar said that Bhopal police held awareness campaigns only in schools for students ahead of exams. More such campaigns for commoners are yet to be launched.
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