Suicide Prevention: The Role of Government and Youth – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was written exclusively for The European Sting by Mr. Abdul Rehman, a third-year MBBS student from Allama Iqbal Medical College. The author is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), a cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this article belong strictly to the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IFMSA on the subject, nor that of The European Sting.

Suicide is a silent issue and a serious health concern in many countries as it is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34. A few decades ago it was not tackled but now it is necessary to take immediate action to address this issue as globally one person dies every 40 seconds with an average of 18.5 per 100,000 people.

The suicide death rate in Pakistan, however, is lower than the world average. Currently, the suicide rate in Pakistan is around 3.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Most suicides are linked to psychiatric syndromes, depression, mental health problems, social disorders, negative childhood experiences, factors such as aversion, economic problems. Research has found that people who die by suicide have suffered from mental health issues at some point in their lives.

These people suffered from diseases like alcoholism, depression, schizophrenia, etc. People have different ideas about suicide because they want to somehow escape the chaos of uncertainty that’s in their heads. Poverty is another major cause of suicide, especially in Pakistan and other economically poor countries. People are unemployed, inflation is high, no hygienic conditions are available, all these factors lead to many suicidal thoughts.

The world is becoming materialistic and people busy with making money are the reason why children do not receive affection from their parents and old parents separate from their adult children due to their busy lives of maintaining their lifestyle. Lack of attention from loved ones makes the person feel left out and alone, leading to negativity and depression. This is the main reason for the high rate of suicide among the elderly in rich countries.

What we can do as an individual, as a society or as a state is try to eradicate all possible reasons that can lead to suicidal thoughts and depression. Now we need to be mature enough to recognize the warning signs among our family members and friends and take them seriously. We have to accept this in front of the victim that this is the common feeling among people and you can easily overcome these negative thoughts. Implementing suicide prevention guidelines in mental health services can be helpful in efforts to reduce suicide rates.

Government can play a central role in this battle by developing suicide prevention policies and eliminating possible causes of suicide. The first step in this fight is to meet people’s basic needs, declaring an absolute commitment to suicide prevention. The government should address issues such as poverty, social vulnerability, build economic support, create a protective environment, identify and support those at risk.

The state must restrict access to commonplaces of suicide, close the bridges. Restricting access to pesticides and firearms has been effective in reducing suicides in many countries such as India, Sri Lanka and Australia. Responsible media reporting can be effective in providing awareness and information on where to seek help in these conditions.

But the truth is that it has not been adequately addressed in many countries around the world and some people still think it is taboo to discuss it openly. It is clear that suicide prevention requires the intervention not only of the health sectors but also of other sectors such as the police, justice, education, law and the media.

About the Author

Abdul Rehman is a third year MBBS student from Allama Iqbal Medical College. He is a cordial member of IFMSA.