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    Nepal’s Suicide Rate Spikes by 72 Per Cent Over a Decade

    HealthMental HealthNepal’s Suicide Rate Spikes by 72 Per Cent Over...
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    Nepal’s Suicide Rate Spikes by 72 Per Cent Over a Decade

    According to the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of Nepal’s health ministry, the suicide rate is increasing in the Himalayan country where 19 persons kill themselves daily.

    By Laxmi Khanal

    The suicide rate has increased by 72 per cent in a decade in Nepal from 11 persons a day ten years ago to 19 persons in the current year. As many as 53,298 people committed suicide in the last 10 years.

    The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) of the government of Nepal’s health ministry said in a press release issued Wednesday that the suicide rate is increasing in the Himalayan country where 19 persons kill themselves daily.

    Nepal Police data says that 6,830 people took their lives in the fiscal year in the current year. The number was 3,977 in 2012.

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    The past decade has seen a plethora of issues that have caused mental health problems. Apart from psychological issues and chronic diseases, the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact the earthquake has had on people and families too has contributed to the escalation of mental health problems. EDCD also points to migration, urbanization, and social and financial imbalances as causes of suicide. Besides this, the long-term after impacts of the civil war that the country went through has also contributed to mental health issues.

    Those who have a history of suicide attempts, substance abuse, or mental health issues, have gone through major emotional turmoil, chronic illness and loneliness were reported to be at risks of suicide.

    A strategy

    EDCD said that a huge effort can help prevent the escalation of self-harm. For encouragement, it points out that there has been a decrease of 4.35 percent in the suicide rate this year compared to last year.

    The health body estimates that an individual succeeds in committing suicide after 20-25 failed attempts make it clear that early detection of suicide-oriented signs can lead to its prevention.

    The government has a strategy to work on mental health and has set itself a target to reduce the suicide rate from 16.5 per 100,000 people to 4.7 by the year 2030 – down from the current 23.4 out of 100,000 people.

    Nepal’s mental health survey says that 6.5 per cent of the population thinks about taking their own lives. It says that over four out of five of those taking their lives do so by hanging.

    Gender-wise, more men commit suicide (56 per cent). Women account for 33 per cent of the suicide deaths; adolescent girls seven per cent and adolescent boys 4 per cent. However, suicides account for a substantial proportion of deaths among women and young girls in the 15 to 45 year age group.

     

    Image: Hippopx, licensed to use Creative Commons Zero – CC0

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