Madhya Pradesh saw 42 people ending their lives every day, almost two per hour: NCRB

While the national average was 468 suicides per day, for MP it was 42 people ending their lives every day, or almost two per hour, as per NCRB data.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

BHOPAL:  Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2022 showed that Madhya Pradesh accounted for 15,386 of the 1,70,924 suicides that took place across the country.

While the national average was 468 suicides per day, for MP it was 42 people ending their lives every day, or almost two per hour, as per NCRB data.

The NCRB, which functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs, recently released its survey.

Maharashtra led with 22,746 suicides (13.3 per cent of total count), followed by 19,834 in Tamil Nadu (11.6 per cent), 15,386 in MP (9 per cent), 13,606 in Karnataka (8 per cent) and 12,669 in West Bengal (7.4 per cent), the NCRB data revealed.

While these states accounted for 49.3 per cent of all suicides, the remainder were in the rest of the 23 states and eight Union Territories.

Incidentally, Uttar Pradesh, with 17 per cent of the country's population, accounted for just 4.8 per cent of the suicides that took place in 2022.

It also showed that 59,087 people, comprising 38,259 men and 20,828 women, who ended their lives in the country were in the 18-30 age group, with 31.7 per cent of people committing suicide due to family problems and 18.4 per cent due to illness.

In MP last year, Indore led with 746 suicides, followed by 527 in Bhopal, 307 in Gwalior and 213 in Jabalpur.

Pointing out that 31.7 per cent of the suicides took place due to family problems, Bhopal Police Commissioner HC Mishra told PTI this was mainly due to the weakening of the joint family system, and lack of emotional bond and communication.

Youngsters, especially students were ending their lives due to lack of proper counselling as well as lack of communication in society, said Mishra, who has earlier served as commissioner of Indore, SP of Jabalpur and Gwalior.

Mishra, who as SP, Jabalpur started the suicide prevention helpline 'Sanjeevani' in 2014, said he found neglect of mental health was one of the reasons for the high number of suicides in the city, after which experts were asked to provide counselling and advice to people who contact the helpline.

Training police staff on issues of sensitivity and answering helpline calls properly resulted in the suicide numbers going down, he claimed.

Recalling an incident, Mishra, as SP in Jabalpur, received a call late at night from a station house officer who said he had a loaded pistol and was planning to end his life.

"I started talking to him, trying to tell him his act would have huge consequences. I recalled he had called me sometime before and spoken about his jobless son, a daughter who had filed a domestic violence case against her husband, as well as his issues with his wife," Mishra said.

"The SHO told me he was considered worthless in the department, which was affecting his career prospects. I immediately gave him the charge of a police station. I told him to prove people wrong. I continued to engage him in talks," he said.

In the meantime, Mishra said he asked the staff at his 'camp office' in his bungalow to alert the constables at the police station where this personnel was and asked them to cautiously take control of him when he walks out of his office since he had a loaded gun.

"I continued to talk to this personnel. Finally, he listened to me, opened the door, walked outside where waiting police staff took away his pistol. He was counselled by professionals later. I spoke to the then DGP and ensured his request for a transfer to Sagar, which is his hometown, at the fag end of his career was accepted," Mishra said.

The Sanjeevani helpline is now functional in Bhopal, Gwalior and Indore as well, he added.

Psychiatrist Dr Viabhav Dubey said communication gaps within the family as well as glorification of suicides in the media sometimes and incidents broadcast live on social media have also resulted in the numbers going up.

Citing the media coverage of the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Dubey said it sometimes makes people think ending their lives is the easiest solution.

People are looking up to the digital world rather than talking to friends and family, he rued.

Seeing social media posts of people informing about purchasing homes, cars, of holidays abroad also increases frustration and despair among those who feel they are down and out, Dubey said.

"In my 25-year career, I am seeing a rise in the number of suicides in the last five years. If we don't take steps now, in 20 years we might see problems like loneliness etc which we are seeing in the West. This could take a heavy toll," he claimed.

People who rely on the internet and social media for a cure of illness instead of consulting doctors may also end their lives out of frustration if they don't get better for a long period, he added.

Discussing suicides can be triggering for some. However, suicides are preventable. In case you feel distressed by the content or know someone in distress, call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7).

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