India accounted for nearly 37% of global suicide deaths among women and around 24% among men in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet on Wednesday. Around 63% of all suicides reported in India were in the age group 15 to 39 years, revealed the study titled “Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016”.
The report studied suicide deaths for both sexes from each state between 1990 and 2016. There was a 40.1% increase in the number of such deaths in 2016, with 2,30,314 cases being reported.
“Suicide deaths ranked first among all causes of death in women aged 15 to 29 years in 26 of the 31 states, and in women aged 15 to 39 years in 24 states,” the report said. “For men, suicide was the leading cause of death in nine states for those aged 15 to 29 years and 10 states in those aged 15 to 39 years.”
The suicide death rate across all states varied widely. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Tripura had high suicide death rates for both men and women. In Kerala and Chhattisgarh, suicide death rates were higher for men.
Meanwhile, married women account for the high proportion of suicides in India, the study said. “The trends in SDR in women in this study suggest the need to further assess the complex relationships between gender and suicidal behaviour to facilitate women-specific suicide prevention strategies,” Professor Rakhi Dandona of the Public Health Foundation of India, the study’s lead author, told PTI.
“Personal or social factors such as socioeconomic circumstances, interpersonal, social and cultural conflicts, alcoholism, financial problems, unemployment, and poor health are known as major reasons for suicide in India for both men and women,” the study stated.
A comprehensive national suicide prevention strategy that systematically addresses the gender-specific multi-sectoral nature of suicide and mental health matters is urgently required to accelerate the probability of achieving the sustainable development goals’ mental health target, the study added.