Kerala: Programme to address shortcomings in suicide prevention measures launched

Despite statewide campaigns and comprehensive awareness programmes, Kerala has seen a concerning increase in suicide rates over the past three years.
Image used for representational purpose
Image used for representational purpose(Photo |Express Illustration)

KOLLAM: The Kollam district administration has launched MANASS (Mental Health Advocacy Network for Assistance, Strength, and Support), a suicide prevention programme aimed at identifying various trends in rural and urban areas across genders.

It aims to employ innovative measures to address the shortcomings of current suicide prevention programmes and develop a comprehensive action plan and implement it in coordination with various departments, including health, education, local self-government and Kudumbashree Mission.

District Collector N Devidas said, “The triggers for suicide vary among different populations. It can stem from financial issues, family problems, geriatric challenges, and unknown causes. Helplines and routine awareness programmes may not always suffice for those on the brink of suicide. Therefore, we have formed a core team that includes experts from diverse fields, mental health in particular, to devise targeted strategies. If successful, the initiative can be extended to other districts.”

Despite statewide campaigns and comprehensive awareness programmes, Kerala has seen a concerning increase in suicide rates over the past three years. The number of cases has risen from 9,549 in 2021 to 10,162 in 2022 and further to 10,843 in 2023, highlighting systemic inadequacies in reversing it, even as mental health has become a post-Covid priority.

(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, Tele Manas - 14416 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)

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