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WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 2010
09-14-2010, 12:17 PM
Post: #1
WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 2010
Like the past, this year too, none of the government authorities arranged any activity to mark World Suicide Prevention Day which is observed on September 10 around the globe to raise awareness on the subject.
Neither the teaching hospitals in this region of the country nor district health departments have given any attention to World Suicide Prevention Day 2010 which is celebrated worldwide to promote commitment and action to prevent suicides.
A number of health experts and senior citizens have repeatedly expressed that Pakistan lacks commitment on the subject of preventing suicides while general public here do not have any recognition about depressions leading to suicide. In Pakistan, no official statistics are available on the subject and the actual rates are still unknown.
They say that there could never be a single factor or event that leads to suicide instead multiple and complex factors are involved in leading an individual to suicide and it is need of the time to explore and address them.
Experts believe that media can play a significant role in dispelling misconceptions about suicides. Experts believe that attributing a suicide to a single event like exam failure or a single factor like poverty is misleading as has happened repeatedly in reports of a number of suicides in recent past in Pakistan. Inability to cope with life stresses and interpersonal conflicts may lead to suicides and this most of the time is result of mental illness, depressions, substance use and impulsiveness. Experts say that cultural, genetic and socio-economic factors should also be taken into account while working on prevention of suicides.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world today, accounting for almost a million deaths annually, and contributing 1.5% of all deaths, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death globally. On average, almost 3,000 people commit suicide daily. Every 40 seconds another family loses a loved one to suicide. For every person, who commits suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives.
The highly affected countries in Asia include China, India, and Japan, where 30% of all suicides worldwide occur yet the data regarding number of suicides in Pakistan has never been available.
It is believed that for framing strategies for prevention of suicides in Pakistan, the concerned government authorities should have a reliable data on the subject.
It is estimated that a suicide affects at least six people around the person opts for death. Studies reveal that people bereaved by a suicide are at higher risk of attempting suicide themselves and they should be given proper consultation by experts.
Experts believe that there is a need of creating awareness among masses that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death and the government should develop policy framework for national suicide prevention strategies.
Studies reveal that in the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years (both sexes). Rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at the highest risk in both the developed and developing countries.
Experts say that mental disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with 90% of all cases of suicide; however, suicide results from many complex socio-cultural factors and more likely occur during periods of socio-economic, family and individual crisis situations. Depression and stress could be caused by loss of a loved one, marital strife, domestic disputes over financial matters particularly between husbands and wives, breaking up relations/marriages, husband marrying another woman, childlessness, admonishing of young boys and girls by parents, joblessness etc and this all needs to have recognition among public.
It is believed that adequate prevention and treatment of depression, alcohol and substance abuse can reduce suicide rates. By raising awareness about contributing factors of suicide, training physicians to look for behavioural manifestations of depression, and involving physicians, teachers, youth activity leaders and parents in efforts to promote constructive approach can also reduce suicide rates.
In the past two decades, suicide has emerged as a serious public health problem and it demands much attention not only of the government authorities but also of the community and its institutions. The research conducted around the globe on the subject indicates that prevention of suicide involves a series of activities from provision of the best possible conditions for bringing up children and youth to the provision of effective treatment facilities for curing mental disorders.
Professor of Community Medicine Col ® Professor Dr Muhammad Ashraf Chaudhry has expressed to ‘The News’ that educational institutions including schools and mosques should be involved to work on suicide prevention. “Also at the time, we need to promote the real teachings of Islam and religious leaders should advise populations that committing suicide is a major sin in Islam and can never help abode in heaven.
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