The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently unveiled the National Suicide Prevention Strategy – India’s first suicide prevention policy.
- The National Suicide Prevention Strategy (NSPS) aims to reduce suicide mortality by 10 per cent by 2030 through timely action and multi-sectoral collaboration.
- The National Strategy has several objectives. These are:
- To set up an effective monitoring mechanism for suicides within the next 3 years
- Establish psychiatric outpatient departments providing suicide prevention services through District Mental Health Program in all states within 5 years
- Integrate a mental wellness curriculum in all educational institutions within the next 8 years
- The strategy also seeks to develop guidelines for responsible media reporting about suicide and to restrict access to means of suicide.
- It will improve community resilience and social support for suicide prevention.
- While this is in line with the WHO South East-Asia Region Strategy for Suicide Prevention, the strategy will be tailored to the Indian culture and social environment.
What is NSPS?
- NSPS is divided into 3 parts – immediate, medium and long term strategy.
- Its priority areas include reducing easy access to suicide modes, strengthening healthcare systems to prevent suicide, sensitization through media and strengthening suicide surveillance.
- Under this policy, the government will phase out dangerous pesticides.
- It will also increase postgraduate seats in the field of mental health.
Suicides In india
India as a middle income country has a high suicide burden. Because of this, more than 1 lakh people lose their lives every year. It is one of the top causes of death for people in the age group of 15 to 29 years. The most common causes of suicides include family problems and illness, accounting for 34 percent and 18 percent of all suicide-related deaths. About 63 per cent of those who died by suicide had an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh. Daily wage earners, self-employed persons and housewives account for more than half of the suicide cases in the country.