Kathmandu, December 15
Data released recently by Nepal Police revealed that registered numbers of suicide cases have increased by 33 per cent in the past few years in the country.
According to police, as many as 5,754 cases of suicides were registered with the police in 2018-2019. Compared to the data of 2014-2015, the number has increased by 1,422 registered suicide cases (33 per cent). As many as 4,332 suicide cases were registered in 2014-2015. In 2015-2016, the number rose to 4,680.
The number of suicide cases rose to 5,124 in fiscal 2016-2017 whereas as many as 5,317 suicide cases were registered in 2017-2018.
The number is large as suicides in groups are registered as a single suicide case by the police. For an instance total number of 5,785 people had committed suicide in 2018-2019, although police recorded only 5,754 cases. This is because suicides in groups are counted as a single case, according to police.
Data also revealed that at least 31 people committed suicide in group of two or more.
As many as 1,861 people have committed suicide since July 17 till November 16 of the current fiscal year.
Doctors working in mental health sector have pointed out number of reasons for the rise in suicide cases.
High expectations, inability to cope with societal changes, mental disturbance, anxiety, drug addiction and business loss were some of the major factors responsible for the rise in mental health problems in people, they said. Dr Basudev Karki, consultant psychiatrist at Mental Hospital, Lagankhel said, “Most of the causes of suicides are mental health problems. If timely diagnosis and treatment is given to patients the number of suicides can be reduced.”He said that growing frustration due to poverty, unemployment, failure in exams, financial problems, migration, extramarital affairs and complex modern lifestyle were some of the common causes for people to commit suicide.
“However we can’t point out a single cause for suicide. We need to look at multidimensional aspects of suicide,” said Dr Karki. “Suicide is mostly associated with mental illness. But it can be prevented if early diagnosis and treatment is done,” said Dr Phanindra Prasad Baral, chief of Non-Communicable Disease and Mental Health Section at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under Department of Health Services.
“To reduce the number of suicide cases in the country, mental health programmes should be carried out at community level. Stigma and discrimination on mental health problems should be discouraged,” said Dr Karki.
To prevent mental health problem the government has allocated Rs 90 lakh for each province.
A version of this article appears in print on December 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.