Suicide is common nowadays. COVID-19 and Suicide: A Crisis within a Crisis is a key public health concern in Nepal. It somehow linked with COVID 19 and the lockdown. During the lockdown, people suffered from mental illness such as anxiety, depression, fear of getting illnesses including different problems. All these reasons have some connections behind the increase in suicide cases if they are not addressed on time. Even people with no history of mental illness become vulnerable nowadays. They were severely impacted.
People are stuck inside the home. People who are already at high risk of being stressed are more likely to succumb to suicide.
It has been projected that in 2020, suicide accounts for one death every 20 seconds, and the large majority of those occur in low- and middle-income countries (WHO, 2016).
According to Nepal Police 2017/18 official record, almost 15 people committed suicide every day with a total of 5,317 killing themselves (Nepal police 2018). On a Provincial basis, Province 5 had leading cases of suicide i.e. 242 having the highest number likewise Bagmati Province- 231, Province 1- 186, Province 2-152, Sudur Paschim -115, Gandaki-121, and Karnali 58 till date (Nepal Police). COVID 19 aggravate mental health crisis to an unprecedented scale.
Why people go to such extremes in COVID-19?
People commit suicide for various reasons, mainly driven by socioeconomic and psychological factors. Émile Durkheim, a French sociologist, in his 1987 book ‘’Suicide’’ presents a sociological study of suicide. He says that suicide can have origins in social causes rather than just being due to individual temperament. COVID 19 crisis has increased the risk factors for suicide. People have lost jobs and income, they are socially isolated, while others who require treatment and counseling are devoid of the service.
What can be done in COVID-19?
Durkheim concluded that the more socially integrated and connected a person is, the less likely he or she is to commit suicide in his seminal book. As social integration decreases, people are more likely to commit suicide. Durkheim reasoned that social integration, in particular, is a factor. The more socially integrated a person is-that is, the more he or she is connected to society, possessing a feeling of general belonging and a sense that life makes sense within the social context-the less likely he or she is to commit suicide, As social integration decreases, people are more likely to commit suicide.
Family and friends can play the greatest role. Multi-sectoral coordination is needed to tackle the mental health crisis. The mental health issue is growing by the day and there is an urgent need to formulate a national strategy and action plan to address the mental health and suicide-related issues together.
1.Nepal police record 2017/18
3.Suicide (Emile Durkheim, 1987)
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