On World Suicide Prevention Day 2021, India has the highest suicide rate in Southeast Asia, Kerala 5th in the country; Here’s the report

Every year, September 10 is marked as world suicide prevention day. The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is “creating hope through action.”  The day was first celebrated in 2003 and aims to give awareness providing worldwide action and commitment for the prevention of Suicide. The overall aim of the initiative is to reduce the increasing number of suicides and suicide attempts.

Mental pressure and anxiety: Kerala in 5th place 

Mental stress and suicide are on the rise in the country now. Kerala has the fifth-highest suicide rate in the country, with a suicide rate of 24.3 per lakh, according to the 2019 National Crime Records Bureau report. This is higher than the average rate of total suicides in India (10.2).  According to the World Health Organization, India has the highest suicide rate in Southeast Asia. The suicide rate in 2003 was 29 per lakh.  In 2015, it dropped to 21.2, but in 2019 it rose to 24.3.  

Thiruvananthapuram Medical College psychiatrist Dr. Arun B Nair said that Kerala is lagging behind other states on mental literacy rate. Untreated depression is one of the leading causes of suicide. More and more people are reluctant to seek treatment nowadays. So there should be an awareness of mental health from school and the need to seek treatment.

Here are some of the steps to provide mental health first aid:

  1. Approach and be a help for the person who seeks difficulty with distress. 
  2. Be a good listener.
  3. Eliminate and soothe misconceptions.
  4. Provide mental health care services.
  5. Ensure social support to avoid loneliness.