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More young people are taking their own lives in Chandigarh, experts say on Suicide Prevention Day

Of the 1,050 suicide victims in Chandigarh (2003-2017), 60% were men and 58% of them were in the age-group of 17-30 years

Updated: Sep 10, 2018 12:40:22

By Tanbir Dhaliwal

After 130 people committed suicide in 2003, the psychiatry department of GMCH-32 was designated as nodal centre for prevention of suicide and since then it is keeping a watch on the number and pattern of suicides in UT. (Getty Images)

More and more young people are committing suicide in Chandigarh, a study by the Psychiatry department of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, shows.

Of the 1,050 people who took their lives between 2004 and 2017, nearly 58% were below 30 years of age.

After 130 people committed suicide in 2003, the psychiatry department of GMCH-32 was designated as nodal centre for prevention of suicide and since then it is keeping a watch on the number and pattern of suicides in UT.

Of the 1,050 suicide victims, 60% were men and 58% of them were in the age-group of 17-30 years. Further, women were committing suicide at a younger age still as 49% of suicide victims were in the age-group of 17-25 years.



“The trend shows the age of committing suicide is decreasing. This is because youth have become more sensitive and more frustrated,” says Dr BS Chavan, head, psychiatry department and director principal, GMCH-32.

Hanging has been the most common method of committing suicide, as the method was used in two-third cases (68%) . Consumption of poison was the cause of death in nearly 13% suicide cases.

“Hanging from ceiling fan is still the commonest method. There is a possibility of using technology to redesign the ceiling fans. Hence, we discussed it with CSIO, which has started working on this,” says Prof BS Chavan.

Males used more violent methods, such as jumping off rooftops, shooting self, stabbing and drowning, to take their own lives. “In last 8 years, 21 males shot themselves. A total of 21 people (13 males, 8 females) had drowned themselves in Sukhna ,” says Dr Chavan.

When enquired, majority of the bereaved families accepted that the person was undergoing stress/depression. Personal problems, failure in exam or love affair and family dispute were common reasons.

Can it be prevented?

“Yes, it is preventable, but not 100%,” says Dr Chavan.

Experts say suicide is rarely an impulsive act and usually there are enough indicators like restlessness, aloofness, gifting away personal valuable possessions, becoming secretive, disturbed sleep and appetite etc.

“Majority of the parents said they never thought their child could commit suicide although there were indications. Hence, there is risk whenever children undergo stress. Denial leads to higher chances, whereas discussion helps,” he said. Best methods of preventing suicide is early recognition of depression, communication and timely medical help.

“Media should not carry suicide news prominently to avoid sensationalism,” Dr Chavan says.

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 12:33:38

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