Lack of awareness, support pushes up suicide incidents in BD: Expert

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Suicide rates are on the rise in the country for the absence of proper attention to mental health issues and necessary support, and complications in the socialisation process.

According to Bangladesh Police, which publishes a report annually on suicide incidents, over 11,000 people committed suicide in the country in 2017 which means at least 30 people are killing themselves every day.

In 2016, the total number of suicide incidents in Bangladesh was 10,600 while 10,500 in 2015 and 10,200 in 2014, the police data revealed.  

The report demonstrates that the suicide rate is going up every year.

Tanvir Rahman, a Dhaka University student, committed suicide on March 31 last jumping off the rooftop of its MBA building.

On February 15 last, Torun Hossain, a third-year student of Finance Department of the same university, also took his own life by jumping off a building at Hazaribagh.

After their suicide, the social media was flooded with posts as many of their fellows claimed that they had been going through difficult times with depression over their career and academic results.

It is not only the Dhaka University but also the entire country is witnessing a rising trend of suicide.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report-2015, at least one person is committing suicide in every 40 seconds across the world, raising the yearly global figure to 8 lakh.

The report also says Bangladesh ranks 10th in the list of high suicide-prone countries as eight people in every 1 lakh are taking their own lives.

The WHO report also said people of 15-29-year age group are committing suicide most where the rate of suicide is higher among women.

More worrying is that now even children tend to commit suicide.

According to reports compiled by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum, at least 76 children committed suicide till May in 2017 and the figure was 534 between 2013 and 2016.

Talking about the reasons behind the increasing suicide incidents in Bangladesh, Mehjabin Haq, Associate Professor of Educational and Counseling Psychology department of Dhaka University, said depression, lack of capability to cope up with a situation, absence of proper support and care, complications in socialisation process and negligence to mental health issues are responsible for the suicidal tendency.

She also said the social structure and norms make people psychologically weak.

Elaborating the issue, Mehjabin said when a woman is sexually harassed by a man, the victim feels ashamed and sometimes makes a suicide attempt because she thinks her dignity has completely been ruined.

She said there is weaknesses in the socialisation process of children in Bangladesh as parents usually pressurise their children over their education.

In Bangladesh, children do not get much opportunities to generate their capacity of thinking and make their own decisions, which, in the long run, results in high dependency on parents. Also, when they become adults, they cannot cope with the complex society and get depressed.

Mehjabin stressed the need for taking the mental health issues seriously and suggested inclusion of subject on mental health in school curricula as well as employing adequate psychologists across the country.

She put importance to creating awareness among mass people about mental health and urged the government to take comprehensive plan to eliminate the reasons behind suicide in Bangladesh.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Vol 34
  • Issue 46

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