NIMHANS STUDY STRESSES ON NEED FOR A NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION STRATEGY
Context: A study on prevalence and risk factors of Suicidality in India by doctors from National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) states that Suicidality is more prevalent at 5.1% than death by suicide at 0.024% among adults aged 18 years and above, thereby emerging as another public health problem
- The study titled ‘A population-based analysis of suicidality and its correlates: Findings from the National Mental Health Survey of India 2015–16’ has been published in The Lancet Psychiatry early this
- Covering 34,748 participants, it is based on analysis of suicidality data from the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) of India 2015-2016.
- Extrapolated to a larger population, the findings reveal that at any time point in 2015, over 30 million Indians aged 18 years and above had thought about ending their own life.
- An estimated 2.6 million had attempted suicide, a number higher than the population of few countries in the world.
- About 1% of adults aged 18 years and older were reported to have a severe form of suicidality that requires urgent intervention.
- The occurrence of suicidality (in any form) was highest in those aged 40–49 years among women and in those aged 60 years or older among men; posing additional challenges in recognition and care delivery for older
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUICIDE AND SUICIDALITY
- Suicide is the act of deliberately ending one’s own life (fatal outcome), whereas suicidality refers to all thoughts, plans and acts of suicide without a fatal outcome and thus excludes those acts of suicide that resulted in death.
- Even though suicidality excludes death by the above definition, the morbidity associated with suicidality can be more than many other health problems including mental health problems.
- Moreover, the co-occurrence of suicidality with mental health and other chronic problems, and even in adverse social situations is a matter of serious concern
- The study emphasizes the need for a comprehensive national suicide prevention strategy.
- This is essential to efficiently address the social, demographic and psychiatric risk factors for reducing suicidality and suicide deaths in India.
- To reduce morbidity and mortality from suicidality and death by suicide in India, the available data on suicide at the national level in combination with findings from this study can be used to develop the framework for the national suicide prevention strategy.