In Baddi, 31 suicides in 1 year, cops flag distressed areas

Bhanu P Lohumi

Shimla, January 30

The hill state has witnessed a 29.3 per cent spike in suicides during the pandemic period. Rising stress, uncertainty and financial insecurity are being cited as likely reasons.

At least 709 suicides were reported in 2019, 856 in 2020 and 917 in 2021. With this alarming trend, the state police have started keeping a record of suicides in special registers kept at all 133 police stations in the state. The record has pointed out several vulnerable areas. The maximum cases in 2021 were reported in Baddi (31) followed by Sadar Solan, Sadar Hamirpur, Baijnath, Sadar Bilaspur and Ghumarwin.

Attributing rising suicides in the industrial belt of Baddi to unsettled lives of migrants and poor economic conditions, Dr Sanjay Pathak, CEO, HP State Mental health Authority, said, "Uncertainty about future, financial insecurity and health and family-related stress leads to depression, which is the main cause of suicides."

DGP Sanjay Kundu said, "There is a need to involve all stakeholders to provide help to people in distress. We have requested the district administrations to take steps by roping in local bodies, health officials and NGOs to address the problem."

Experts say homemakers top the list of those taking the extreme step, followed by labourers, students, private sector employees, farmers and businessmen.

A survey conducted by the State Mental Health Authority to assess the psychological impact of the pandemic revealed 42.92 per cent people were worried about their future and family, 40.46 per cent were stressed due to financial loss and 8 per cent put suicidal thoughts into action.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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