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Health Experts Ask Government to Work on a National Policy to Prevent Suicide

Against the backdrop of a recent study which said that India accounted for 37 percent of global suicide among women, health experts asked the government to work on a national policy to prevent suicide, and encourage women to come out and talk about their problems. The Global Burden of Disease study 1990-2016, published in the Lancet Public Health Journal recently, said India accounted for 37 percent of global suicide among women and 34 percent of men in 2016. Experts say suicide is one of the biggest killers globally. “The important point which we should emphasize on is that suicide is a preventable condition. Out of so many mental ailments, depression is the most common problems and it observed more in women than men. Women manages the entire system of the house, but tend to ignore their health,” said Dr Samir Parikh, Director of Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences. “We need to identify and sensitize them (women) to be more responsible towards their own health first. India also needs to work on a national suicidal health policy to make the situation better,” he said. According to the study, 63 percent of all suicides reported in India were in the 15-39 age group. Another expert pointed out that the very core of empowerment of women lies in the roots of freedom, self-respect, access to basic health and most importantly economic sustainability. “Successful implementation of social entrepreneurship initiatives and self-help groups with women as major stakeholders can be the stimulator in the process of change.

“It is time we recognize the central role a woman plays in welfare of a family, of a society, and of the whole country, and give her an equal chance,” said Seema Kumar, GM, Programs, Smile Foundation. Anna Chandy, Chairperson – Board of Trustees, The Live Love Laugh Foundation, pointed out that women in India not only face discrimination but also lack concern and empathy. She said women are often blamed for almost everything that goes wrong and the diverse roles they play often takes a toll on them. “Women are expected to be perfect wives, care providers, employers, and employees with no room for error or physical or emotional exhaustion. Society also lacks awareness on post-natal depression and menopause related issues,” Chandy said, while pointing out that this is compounded when many women neglect their basic needs including rest, exercise, and sleep. “All this call for raising awareness on the issues faced by women and how their family should become the first point of care. Women should be encouraged to come out and talk about what is bothering them. “Suicide is not the solution and it is not wrong to ask for help. Women should be provided the care and support they need and lead the lives they want to,” Chandy said. – Business Standard