Suicide in India

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Abstract

Sources of data

The current report reviews the data from the series Accidental Death and Suicide in India published by India's National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reporting official suicide rates based on police reports over the period of 10 years from 2004 to 2013. A reference to wider literature is made to present a comprehensive picture.

Areas of agreement

Suicide in India is more prevalent in young, is likely to involve hanging and ingestion of pesticides and is related to social and economic causes. Reducing alcohol consumption, unemployment, poverty, social inequities, domestic violence and improving social justice are essential to reduce suicide in India.

Areas of controversy

NCRB data might underreport suicide. Discrepancy in farmers' suicide rate between reports suggests that this might be overrepresented in NCRB data.

Growing points

An integrated suicide prevention programme with a multidimensional approach is needed. Mental health care bill and the recent launch of first national mental health policy are welcome measures. Decriminalization of suicide is likely to positively influence mental health practice and policy in India.

Area timely for developing research

Nationally representative studies investigating fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviours, evaluation of models of service delivery for the vulnerable population, investigating suicide following different treatment services and effects of decriminalization of suicide on suicide rates should be the focus of future research.

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