World Suicide Prevention Day in Imphal: 'Suicide more common in males than females'

Imphal West reports highest deaths by suicide in state with 45.28 per cent

The World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 under the theme, ‘Working together to prevent suicide’ was observed at the Indian Medical Association (IMA) hall in Imphal, Manipur Thursday.

Nodal officer, National Mental Health Programme and joint secretary, Indian Psychiatric Society Manipur State Board Dr A Ranita devi spoke on the topic 'self-harm an suicide in the context of Manipur' while assistant professor, department of clinical Psychology, RIMS, Dr Wahengbam Rebecca Devi spoke on the topic of 'dealing with intentional self-harm and suicide in the context of Manipur'.

Dr A Ranita Devi said that suicide is most commonly witnessed in the age group of 15-29 years with 53.77 per cent followed by 20-45 years age group with a percentage of 28.30 per cent. She said that suicide is more common in males with a percentage of 57.55 percent with a narrow margin with females.

Imphal west with 45.28 per cent tops the highest reported deaths by suicide followed by Imphal east with 16.98 per cent and Thoubal with 14.15 per cent. Significant numbers of suicides are also reported from Kamjong, Jiribam and Churachandpur district, she said.

Based on the available data, students, housewives and farmers are at high risk of suicide in the state and the most common method of suicide is by hanging in both the sex, followed by poisoning (both sex) and firearms among males.

She also said that the motive behind suicide are financial problem, family problem, psychosis, depression due to exam failure, mental illness, torture by husband, mental harassment by wife and in laws, divorce of legal wife and love affairs.

Suggesting preventive measures for suicide, Ranita said that early detection and treatment of a primary psychiatric disorder is important. Early identification and treatment of vulnerable populations with risk factors with participation from teachers and school authorities, health professionals is important, she said.

Media, advocacy and legislature, NGOs and other stakeholders have also a role to play, she mentioned.

She said that the solutions to suicide prevention may prove to be more complex than the problem of suicide itself. She appealed the public to join hands to prevent suicide.

Dr Wahengbam Rebecca Devi while delivering his speech said that people attempt suicides and self-harm to feel better, to release pent up feelings such as anger and anxiety or even to communicate their emotional pain.

Attempting suicide or self-harm can be a way for reaching out for help, to punish themselves and it can be due to lack of self-esteem, she added.

Suggestive preventive measures for self-harm and suicide, Rebecca said that a person should focus his attention at something nice, nature, painting, watching a favourite programme or a movie. Rebecca also said that a person should have a positive mind set, good eating and sleeping habits, socialising and keeping themselves healthy by exercising.

She also suggested avoiding alcohol, cigarettes and drugs as they are not the solutions to problems. Instead they can harm the brain and lead to mental health problems. She also advised laughter as the best medicine and to stay in touch with other people.

President, Indian Psychiatric Society Manipur State Board Dr S Shyamkumar Singh, president of Indian Medical Association Manipur State Branch Dr Shyamkumar Laishram an additional director(MD) Health Services Manipur Dr Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang attended the function as presidium members.

The programme was jointly organised by National Mental Health Programme National Health Mission Manipur, Indian Psychiatric Society, Manipur State Branch and Indian Medical Association (IMA), Manipur State Branch. 

First Published:Sept. 10, 2020, 10:49 p.m.