Study reveals strained family ties and health issues drove suicide graph up

Of the total 2,28,566 suicides reported during the period, 73.7 per cent were males and 26.3% were females.
Representative image
Representative image

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Strained family relation is the single major cause of suicides in Kerala, shows a study report on suicides over 26 years. Of the total 2,28,566 suicides reported during 1996-2021, approximately 34% were attributed to family problems and 26% to illness. The study by Shibu B T, research assistant and Brijesh C J, statistical assistant grade-I of the state economics and statistics department, was based on the data with the State Crime Records Bureau.

“These findings underscore the critical role that interpersonal relationships and health-related challenges play in shaping individuals’ vulnerability to suicide in Kerala. Addressing these root causes through targeted interventions and support systems is essential to effectively combating the state’s suicide epidemic and promoting mental well-being,” the report said.

Of the total 2,28,566 suicides reported during the period, 73.7 per cent were males and 26.3% females. “Contrary to common belief that men have better mental health than women, suicide statistics reveal a stark reality: female suicide rates were lower than males,” the report said. Males outnumbered women in the number of suicides due to problems in love affairs. The number of men and women who ended life for this reason were 2,055 and 1,668 respectively. Among the 10 leading causes, women exceeded men in suicides due to “marriage issues” and “failure in examination”

The study found that individuals aged 30-44 and 45-59 were more susceptible to suicide. Among males, the 45-59 age group emerged as the most vulnerable, while females in the 15-29 age group faced heightened risks. The major cause of suicide in men up to age 59 was family problems and above 60 years illness. The major cause of suicides of female up to 44 years was family problems and above 45 illness.

During the 26 years, maximum number of suicides (9,810) occurred in 2002 and least (7,692) in 2015. Suicides due to bankruptcy and indebtedness have declining over the years. There was a decline in suicide by females in the 30-44 age group and an increase in age 60 and above. Male suicide due to drug abuse is increasing, the study said.

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