Current Issues

Suicide Awareness & Prevention

Depressed young woman sitting in the doorway of a room
© Elyas Pasban on Unsplash

Mental health problems exist in our lives, families, workplaces and communities, impacting everyone. We need to do as much as possible to prevent mental ill-health as individuals and as a society. We need to talk about mental health, in general, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to talk about things and get help if one is struggling.

Another important aspect of concern in our country is the rising rate of suicides. About 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide every year. Suicides in India rose 10 per cent from 2019 to an all-time high of 1,53,052 in the pandemic year of 2020, with student suicides seeing the highest percentage increase at 21.20 per cent, according to the latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). In 2019, Maharashtra recorded the highest number of deaths by suicide followed by Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. These five states together accounted for almost half the total suicides recorded in India in that year. The male-to-female suicide ratio is around 70.2:29.8, which means that the number of men committing suicide is three times higher than that of women.

Factors contributing to suicide in India in 2020

Contributing FactorsPercentage
Family problems32.4
Illness17.1
Drug abuse/alcohol addiction5.6
Marriage-related issues5.5
Love affairs4.5
Bankruptcy or indebtedness4.2
Failure in examination2.0
Unemployment2.0
Professional/career problem1.2
Property dispute1.1
Death of a loved one0.9
Poverty0.8
Suspected/illicit relation0.5
Fall in social reputation0.4
Impotency/infertility0.3
Other causes11.1
Causes not known10.3
Cover of the March 2023 issue of The Teenager Today featuring cricketer Shafali Varma and the U-19 Indian cricket team

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Dr Alisha Lalljee is a Psychologist (M.A.), Special Educator (M.Ed) and Psychotherapist. She holds an MBA in Clinical Research and Hospital Management.

Dr Alisha Lalljee

Dr Alisha Lalljee is a Psychologist (M.A.), Special Educator (M.Ed) and Psychotherapist. She holds an MBA in Clinical Research and Hospital Management.