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National Suicide Prevention Strategy

  • 22 Nov 2022
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: Status of Suicides in India, National Crime Records Bureau, Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India Report

For Mains: National Suicide Prevention Strategy, Status of Suicides in India, National Crime Records Bureau, Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India Report

Why in News?

Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has announced the “National Suicide Prevention Strategy”.

  • It is the first of its kind in the country, with time-bound action plans and multi-sectoral collaborations to achieve reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030.
  • The strategy is in line with the World Health Organisation’s South East-Asia Region Strategy for suicide prevention.

What is National Suicide Prevention Strategy?

  • The strategy broadly seeks to establish effective surveillance mechanisms for suicide within the next three years.
  • It seeks to establish psychiatric outpatient departments that will provide suicide prevention services through the District Mental Health Programme in all districts within the next five years.
  • It also aims to integrate a mental well-being curriculum in all educational institutions within the next eight years.
  • It envisages developing guidelines for responsible media reporting of suicides, and restricting access to means of suicide.

What is the Status of Suicides in India?

  • National Figures:
    • In India, more than one lakh lives are lost every year to suicide, and it is the top killer in the 15-29 years category.
    • From 2019-22, the suicide rate has increased from 10.2 to 11.3 per 1,00,000 population.
  • National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has recently released report of “Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India Report 2021”. It provides the category wise records as follows:
    • Daily Wager: 
      • Daily wage earners remained the largest profession-wise group among suicide victims in 2021, accounting for 42,004 suicides (25.6%).
      • The share of daily wagers death by suicide has crossed the quarter mark for the first time.
      • At the national level, the number of suicides increased by 7.17% from the years 2020 to 2021.
        • However, the number of suicides in the daily wage group rose by 11.52% during this period.
    • Farming Sector:
      • The overall share of “Persons engaged in farming sector” among the total recorded suicides stood at 6.6% during 2021.
    • Profession Wise Distribution:
      • The highest increase of 16.73% was recorded by “self-employed persons”.
      • The “unemployed persons” group was the only one that saw a decline in suicides, with the number dipping by 12.38% from 15,652 in 2020 to 13,714 suicides in 2021.
    • Reasons for Suicide:
      • 33.2%: Family Problems (other than marriage related problems)
      • 4.8%: Marriage Related Problems
      • 18.6%: Illness
    • State:
      • Maharashtra topped the country in terms of the number of suicides reported in 2021 followed by Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.
      • Maharashtra contributed 13.5% to the total number of suicides registered across the country in 2021.
    • Union Territories:
      • Delhi recorded the highest number of 2,840 suicides.

What are India’s Initiatives to Reduce Suicides?

  • Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:
    • MHA 2017 aims to provide mental healthcare services for persons with mental illness.
  • KIRAN:
    • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched a 24/7 toll-free helpline “KIRAN” to provide support to people facing anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental health concerns.
  • Manodarpan Initiative:
    • Manodarpan is an initiative of the Ministry of Education under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It is aimed to provide psychosocial support to students, family members and teachers for their mental health and well-being during the times of Covid-19.

What is the National Crime Records Bureau?

  • NCRB, headquartered in New Delhi, was set-up in 1986 under the Ministry of Home Affairs to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
  • It was set up based on the recommendations of the National Police Commission (1977-1981) and the MHA’s Task Force (1985).
  • NCRB brings out the annual comprehensive statistics of crime across the country (‘Crime in India’ report).
    • Having been published since 1953, the report serves as a crucial tool in understanding the law and order situation across the country.

Source: TH

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