India suicide crisis: Shock report reveals staggering level of female suicide in India | World | News


Nearly 37 percent of women and 24 percent of men who kill themselves around the world come from India, a study from The Lancet medical journal also found.

In 2016 alone, a total of 230,000 people ended their lives in the country, 135,000 of which were men and 95,000 were women.

The report, which studied data between 1990 and 2016, also showed married women represent the highest proportion of suicide deaths in India.

The report was based on analysis across lines of religion, geography, social class and age. 

The study said: “Marriage is known to be less protective against suicide for women because of arranged and early marriage, young motherhood, low social status, domestic violence, and economic dependence.”

Such alarming figures sparked fears of an ongoing public health crisis in India, where a lack of access to mental health facilities would be playing a big role in worsening the condition of people deemed at risk.

The study said: “Young adults are taking their own lives in alarmingly high numbers, constituting a public health crisis.”

Rakhi Dandona, of the Public Health Foundation of India, and one of the study’s authors, added: “Lack of access to mental health facilities for women could be a factor behind suicide related deaths.” 

The disparity in the number of deaths between men and women in India has been found by a mental health expert in the way people “cope with stress”.

Dr Era Dutta of the executive committee of the Indian Psychiatric Society, said: “How women cope with stress is different to how men cope with stress, which is why you have this odd situation where more women attempt suicide but more men actually go through with it.”

Indeed, the report indicated that man going through with suicide in a higher number than women is a global tendency.

In the UK, a whopping 76 percent of people who killed themselves in 2014 were men. 

But Indian women are three times more likely to attempt suicide than men, possibly because of the high rates of arranged marriages and wedding taking place in the early years of many girls.

The 71 percent of suicide deaths among women in India were in the 15 to 39 age group over the period studied in the report.

Factors putting them particularly at risk are a dangerous level of ignorance and stigmatisation, family pressures, career, cash worries and online communities, the report said. 

Dr Dutta, who runs workshops on suicide prevention among youngsters, added women in India are particularly subjected to difficult situations in their households.

She added: “Many are desperate to fit in.

“And if they don’t or more importantly feel they don’t, they have no one they can trust to turn to, and social media just amplifies that feeling of isolation.”

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.  

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