Chandigarh: More women than men in 17-25 age group committed suicide in 16 yrs, finds study

Says most common method to end life was hanging; drowning in Sukhna Lake another favourite choice

FEMALES IN the age group of 17 to 25 were found to be most prone to suicide with trigger factors being stress, personal problems, failure in exams and love affair. A study released on the World Suicide Prevention Day has found that Chandigarh leads in maximum number of cases in the Tricity with the most common method being hanging and drowning in Sukhna Lake.

The Department of Psychiatry in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, conducted a study about pattern and trends of suicide in the Tricity for a 16-year period from 2004 to 2019.

The department is a nodal centre for prevention of suicides in Chandigarh and maintains a data bank of all the persons who commit suicide.

Professor B S Chavan, Director Principal of GMCH, said that 1,200 cases were analysed in which most suicide cases were reported from Chandigarh (91 per cent), followed by Mohali and Panchkula.

The data revealed that of those who committed suicide, nearly 60 per cent were males and 58 per cent were aged between 17-30 and 27 per cent aged between 21-25.

“This figure increased to 70 per cent if individuals up to 35 years of age were included,” Professor Chavan said.

Looking at the gender distribution, an alarmingly high percentage of females, that is 49 per cent, in the age range of 17-25 years committed suicide compared to 34 per cent of males in the same age group. Nearly twice the number of females than males committed suicide in the vulnerable age group of youth (i.e. children and adolescents) over the period of 16 years, the study revealed.

The most common method employed was hanging in nearly 68 per cent of the total cases with males using it more frequently than females. This was followed by consumption of poisonous substances in nearly 13 per cent (but more frequently in females), and violent methods that included jumping from rooftops, canal, shooting self, stabbing self, drowning in nearly 11 per cent where 30 people (including 21 males) had shot themselves and 24 people (14 males, 10 females) had drowned in the Sukhna Lake.

Another violent method employed was self-immolation in nearly 5 per cent cases in which two-thirds were females.

Doctors specified that reasons for committing suicide were available in approximately 58 per cent of the cases.

The suicide rate of Chandigarh is approximately 7.5 per lakh, which is much less than the Indian figure which is 16.4 per lakh population.

Stress the villain

“Stress/depression was the leading cause (19 per cent), followed by personal problems/failure in exams/love affair (9 per cent), and family problems (6 per cent). The reason for committing suicide was not available in 42 per cent of total cases,” Dr Chavan said.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day, Parivartan, State Legal Services Authority (SLSA), participated in a walkathon to create awareness about suicide among people.

Later, MPhil and MD students from the Department of Psychiatry, GMCH, organised a skit to highlight the reasons for suicide. The skit demonstrated how a school counsellor talks to a student and takes up his issues with his parents. The parents realise their mistake of not giving him quality time and having undue expectations from him. They agree to change the hostile atmosphere at home and make it more open and relaxing where the child gets a chance to express himself.

Later, Professor B S Chavan, Director Principal, GMCH, addressed the gathering saying suicide today is a major global challenge and is a leading cause of deaths among the youth. The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day of this year was ‘Working together to prevent Suicide’. The department slightly modified the theme and called it “Working Together for a Suicide-Free City”.

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