RAIPUR: According to the World Health Organisation, “For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year.” Such concerns have led the Chhattisgarh police in Durg range to undertake an initiative to generate public awareness on suicides while instilling confidence to successfully face the challenging situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the 28 districts of the state, Durg-Bhilainagar reported the highest suicide rate of 34.5 per 100000.
While remaining apprehensive that those who are depressed or grief-stricken might become vulnerable to inflict self-harm or develop suicidal tendencies, the Durg range police have undertaken an unusual task to impress among the masses the message that "life is precious and one must realise how to safeguard it." Various action plans and communication strategies have been formulated for the campaign.
Witnessing the rise in the graph of suicides during the lockdown, the inspector general of police (Durg Range) Vivekanand Sinha initially got reports on suicides and mental health concerns compiled from five districts coming under the range. 6045 people have committed suicide, revealed the data gathered from 2016 to July 2020.
“The present scenario arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a lot of stress as people are finding themselves in helpless situations where things are beyond their control. So there is a greater need to remain watchful on warning signs of suicides. We need to proactively raise awareness on preventive measures around suicidal behaviour,” the IG said.
The reports established 18 reasons linked to suicides and mental health disorders in the Durg range.
“If people remain mentally tough and healthy, suicide becomes preventable. We are also into intervention role by tying up with psychiatrists and counsellors for round the clock support and advice to those suffering from extreme distress and emotional agony,” Sinha added.
Chhattisgarh's suicide rate puts it among the top four states in the country, at 24.7 per one lakh, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2019. The state with a population of about 26.6 million has a suicide rate much higher than the national average of 10.4.
(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)