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Student/Youth Suicide Statistics for India
Student suicides jump by a fourth
Family problems were blamed for 24 pc of the suicides, illness for 19.6 pc, drug abuse for 3.4 pc and love affairs for 3.3 pc.
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Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Mumbai | Updated: July 1, 2014 11:09 am
By: Zeeshan Shaikh
The number of students who committed suicide increased 26.58 per cent between 2012 and 2013, from 6,654 to 8,423, figures compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau show.
This was when the nationwide total had dipped 0.47 per cent from 1,35,445 in 2012 to 1,34,799 in 2013, which translates into 11 out of every lakh Indians. Suicides by farmers dipped 14.41 per cent from 13,754 to 11,772.
Suicide cases in India
Maharashtra 03, 3% (16,622)
Tamil Nadu 0006, 12.3% (16,601)
Andhra Pradesh 0009, 10.8% (14,607)
West Bengal 00012, 9.7% (13,055)
Karnataka 00012. 8.4% (11,266)
53.5% of suicides (72,151 out of 1,34,799) took place in 5 States
Maharashtra had the highest state-wise count in 2013 with 16,622, followed closely by Tamil Nadu with 16,601, each accounting for 12.3 per cent. Andhra Pradesh accounted for 10.8 per cent, West Bengal for 9.7 per cent, and Karnataka for 8.4 per cent. Together, these five states saw 53.5 per cent, or more than half, of the country’s suicides. Of these states, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh saw an increase in suicides while the other three saw a dip.
SUICIDE - Causes
Family Problems 24%
Love Affairs 3.3%
Number of students committing suicide up by 26.58 pc in 2012-13 from 6,654 to 8,423
“All the five states, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, have registered consistently higher number of suicidal deaths during the last few years,” states the NCRB report ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India, 2013’.
Male to female. Social and economic causes drove most males to suicide; emotional and personal causes led to most of the suicides by females
Rise in pregnancy-driven suicides (from 93 to 153)
Suicides driven by family problems. 19.6% were driven by illness, 3.4% were a result of drug abuse, 3.3% were because of love affairs
Suicides by hanging, the highest proportion, followed by 27.9% by consuming poison, 7.4% by self-immolation and 5.7% by drowning
Puducherry and Sikkim had the highest suicide rates. Against the national average of 11 out of every one lakh citizens, Puducherry saw as many as 35.6 per lakh and Sikkim 29.3 per lakh.
Among causes, family problems were blamed for 24 per cent of the suicides, illness for 19.6 per cent, drug abuse for 3.4 per cent and love affairs for 3.3 per cent.
Teens in Southern India
Have the World's Highest Suicide Rates
Teens in Southern India
Have the World's Highest Suicide Rates
by Kevin Caruso
The average global suicide rate is 14.5 deaths per 100,000 people, with suicide being the 4th leading cause of death in the 15-19 age group.
A study published in the British medical journal The Lancet indicates that the suicide rate in the 15-19 group living around Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India, was 148 per 100,000 for women, and 58 per 100,000 for men.
What stood out in the data was that not only were the rates extremely high, but that rates for young women were almost three times higher than rates for young men. This is the opposite of global rates, in which men are three times higher than those for women.
Suicide deaths accounted for between 50 to 75 percent of all deaths in young women in the 15-19 age group.
The two most common methods for females were hanging and poisoning by insecticide.
The third most common method for females was one that is not seen frequently outside of India, and that is of self-immolation, or burning oneself to death in a fire. This method is common for females but rare for men.
Contributing factors for the high levels of suicides for young females includes untreated mental illness, domestic violence, and conflicts over dowries.
Clearly, this disturbing data points to an urgent need for suicide prevention programs, better assessment and treatment of mental disorders, and better treatment of women in India.
Stressed-out students attempting suicide
Sunitha Rao R | TNN | Sep 10, 2014, 04.00 AM IST
Bangalore: Growing up is fraught with suicidal tendencies. A Nimhans study under way has found that 11% of college students and 7%-8% of high school students have attempted suicide.
In the survey, 1,500 school and college students were studied on suicide prevention.
"What's bothering the current adolescent generation is stress due to academics, relationship with parents, peer groups and romantic relationships," says Dr M Manjula, associate professor, department of psychiatry, Nimhans, who is spearheading the study.
An earlier Nimhans study involving 800 teenagers revealed that 20% of children suffered from subclinical depression, while 30% suffered from mild to moderate depression, she said.
According to Dr John Vijay Sagar, child and adolescent psychiatrist, high rate of cyber-bullying is also a trigger for depression among adolescents. Counselling parents is vital in such cases, he added.
Nimhans experts were speaking about the study in the backdrop of the World Suicide Prevention Day observed on September 10.
Dr G Gururaj, professor of epidemiology, Nimhans, said there has been a huge increase in suicides in India from nearly 40,000 in 1920 to 1,35,000 by 2013.
"It's estimated that 15-20 lakh suicide attempts occur in India every year. For every suicide committed, there are a minimum of 15-20 persons attempting suicide. Not all suicides are reported to police due to the stigma attached to it. The victim's family also suffers for depression and don't get post-trauma counselling," he said.
He said World Health Organisation estimates and police statistics differ as not all suicides are reported and the truth lies somewhere in between.
Four charts show why India's youth suicide rate is among the world's highest
As government moves to decriminalise suicide, a reminder: the stresses of economic and social transition are killing the country's young people.
On Wednesday, the government announced it would decriminalise suicide. It is the rational thing to do: after all, those who attempt suicide do so for lack of social, economic and emotional resources. It will also ensure that young Indians under stress are not punished for cracking. After all, India has one of the world’s highest rate of suicides among people aged between 15 years and 29 years.
Each year, between 30 and 40 people per 100,000 Indians aged between 15 and 29 kill themselves. This accounts for about a third of all suicides in the country.
India's suicides are a result of its traditionalist middle-income residents transitioning to an increasingly globalised landscape, experts say. One striking fact when considering the suicide deaths per 100,000 people of that age-group is that the figures are higher in the better-off southern states and the lowest in the Hindi heartland.
The strains are obvious from this chart.
A common cause for concern is the pressure from parents to do well in the national board examinations, especially for Class XII, before finishing school. As scores in these exams often determine college admissions and subsequent employment opportunities, students aged 16-18 are often subjected to undue pressure at home to succeed. When they don't, suicide becomes a way out. In 2013 alone, 2,471 suicides were attributed to "failure in examination".
Moreover, the consequences of gender bias are among the leading cause of suicides among young women, say psychiatrists such as Rajiv Radhakrishnan of the Yale University School of Medicine and Chittaranjan Andrade of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru.
Independent decision-making, wanting to postpone marriage and premarital sex are some factors that clash with traditional parenting styles, while physical and mental abuse and mental disorders could exacerbate suicidal tendencies.
A study conducted in Goa in 2008 studied to what extent these factors were more prevalent among women than among men.
The same study found that independent decision-making, rural residence and premarital sex were the strongest precipitators of suicidal tendencies.
Among men, however, the stories are different. As data from the National Crime Records Bureau shows, suicide is more prevalent toward south India, which has better economic indicators than the rest of the country on average.
According to data from the NCRB for 2013 and a World Health Organisation report for 2012, alcoholism among men between the ages of 15 and 59 years and suicide rates among men of the same age group rise and fall together. However, the data sets do not have an age-wise breakdown, so this covariance could be no more than indicative of other issues.
The same WHO report, released in September, noted that 75% of the world’s suicides happen in low- and middle-income countries. It also says that “suicide rates are highest in persons aged 70 years or over for both men and women in almost all regions of the world”. But this is not true for India.
There is an immediate explanation for why India’s elderly have it better than India’s young. Taking care of the elderly has been an important part of Indian familial traditions. Their needs are widely recognised and addressed, and they enjoy a measure of respect by virtue of their age.
The clash of values within families is an important factor for young people in their lives. As young Indians becomes more progressive, their traditionalist households become less supportive of their choices pertaining to financial independence, marriage age, premarital sex, rehabilitation and taking care of the elderly.
It is probably for these reasons that, according to the NCRB, the most common reason cited for a suicide was "family problems".
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Suicide rates in India are highest in the 15-29 age group.
New Delhi: Young Indians are more likely to commit suicide than previously thought, especially those living in wealthier and more educated regions, according to a study on Friday that experts say suggests India's rapid development is driving many youths to despair.
Opportunities that have come with two decades of economic boom and open markets have also brought more job anxiety, higher expectations and more pressure to achieve, mental health experts said.
India has some of the world's highest suicide rates, with many believing the biggest risk group to be rural farmers facing debt after poor harvests.
However, the study - published in the Lancet medical journal on Friday - says suicide rates are highest in the 15-29 age group, peaking in southern regions that are considered richer and more developed with better education, social welfare and health care.
That puts the young at high risk - a new phenomenon experts said has happened recently as more middle-class youths strive to meet achievement expectations, and new technologies like cell phones and social networking sites help break down traditional family units once relied on for support.
Overall, the report uses a national government survey of deaths in 2001-03 to estimate 187,000 suicides took place in 2010, making it the cause of 3 per cent of deaths that year.
The WHO reports about 1 million suicides a year, which would be a rate of about 14 per 100,000 in a global population of 7 billion. By comparison, the U.S. had 37,790 suicides in 2010, or a rate of 12.2 per 100,000, while India's rate under the Lancet's projected suicide tally of 187,000 would be near 16 - far higher than earlier reports and estimates of around 10.
There has been little scientific examination of suicide motives in India.
While The Lancet study does not address the question of motivation, the report's authors, as well as experts not associated with the study, saw few likely reasons for the rise in suicide among young people beyond the increased pressure that has come with new economic opportunity and social fragmentation.
The higher rates may come from "the greater likelihood of disappointments when aspirations that define success and happiness are distorted or unmet by the reality faced by young people in a rapidly changing society," said Dr. Vikram Patel, one of the report's authors, in an editorial printed in The Hindu.
He also noted online social networking was making "loneliness more common." He admits his conclusion is conjecture, but says "I cannot think of any more plausible explanation."
Among men, 40 per cent of suicides were among people age 15-29. For women, it was nearly 60 per cent.
The numbers mean young men are nearly as likely to die from suicide as in traffic accidents, while rates of suicide among young women are nearly as high as the rate of death by complications from pregnancy or childbirth.
The revelation has shocked many in a country notorious for poor maternal health care statistics.
"We can only guess broadly at what might be behind it. People say partially the rapid changes on society that have come with globalization, the breakdown of the families," said Dr. Roy Abraham, president of the Indian Psychiatric Society.
There are few facilities in India for mental health problems, and stigmas prevent many people from seeking support. Telephone help lines are often not adequately staffed, and many schools do not have counsellors.
"Mental health is not a priority in India," he said. "It has to be a priority. Many people are not aware of the fact that mental health is behind suicide."
Courts are starting to mandate programs for educating people about public health issues including suicide, sexuality and drug abuse, experts said.
"The young face very high competition and pressure from families to succeed. Many parents think their child should come first in the class. Of course, that can't happen," said Dr. T.S. Sathyanarayana Rao, head of psychiatry at J. S. S. Medical College & Hospital in Mysore, 140 kilometers (87 miles) from the nation's technology centre of Bangalore.
When youths start to despair, they often don't think to seek help, or shun the idea because "they think psychiatry is only for crazy people," he said.
Many suicide cases still go unreported, expert said, as people hide what is still an illegal act in India, the report says.
Suicides in India
About 800000 people commit suicide worldwide every year, of these 135,000 (17%) are residents of India, a nation with 17.5% of world population. Between 1987 and 2007, the suicide rate increased from 7.9 to 10.3 per 100,000, with higher suicide rates in southern and eastern states of India. In 2012, Tamil Nadu (12.5% of all suicides), Maharashtra (11.9%) and West Bengal (11.0%) had the highest proportion of suicides. Among large population states, Tamil Nadu and Kerala had the highest suicide rates per 100,000 people in 2012. The male to female suicide ratio has been about 2:1.
Estimates for number of suicides in India vary. For example, one study projected 187,000 suicides in India in 2010, while official data by the Government of India claims 134,600 suicides in 2010.
According to WHO data, the age standardized suicide rate in India is 16.4 per 100,000 for women (6th highest in the world) and 25.8 for men (ranking 22nd).
The Government of India classifies a death as suicide if it meets the following three criteria:
it is an unnatural death,
the intent to die originated within the person,
there is a reason for the person to end his or her life. The reason may have been specified in a suicide note or unspecified.
If one of these criterion is not met, the death may be classified as death because of illness, murder or in another statistical category.
State-wise distribution in 2014
Causes for suicide in India In 2014 Causes No of people
Bankruptcy or indebtedness
Marriage Related Issues
Non Settlement of Marriage
Dowry Related Issues
Extra Marital affairs
Failure in Examination
Other Family problems
Other prolonged illness
Death of dear person
Fall in social reputation
Ideological causes/Hero worshipping
The southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu along with eastern state of West Bengal, Tripura and Mizoram have a suicide rate of greater than 16 while in the Northern States of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the suicide rate is less than 4. Puducherry reported the highest suicide rate at 36.8 per 100,000 people, followed by Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The lowest suicide rates were reported in Bihar (0.8 per 100,000), followed by Nagaland, then Manipur.
Age and suicide in India
In India, about 46,000 suicides occurred each in 15-29 and 30-44 age groups in 2012 - or about 34% each of all suicides.
Method of suicide in India
Poisoning (33%), hanging (31%) and self-immolation (9%) were the primary methods used to commit suicide in 2012.
80% of the suicide victims were literate, higher than the national average literacy rate of 74%.
Suicide in cities
There were 19,120 suicides in India's largest 53 cities. In the year 2012, Chennai reported the highest total number of suicides at 2,183, followed by Bengaluru (1,989), Delhi (1,397) and Mumbai (1,296). Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) followed by Kollam (Kerala) reported the highest rate of suicides 45.1 and 40.5 per 100,000 people respectively, about 4 times higher than national average rate. There is a wide variation in suicide rates, year to year, among Indian cities.
On average, males suicide rate is twice that of females in India. However, there is a wide variation in this ratio at the regional level. West Bengal reported 6,277 female suicides, the highest amongst all states of India, and a ratio of male to female suicides at 4:3.
Domestic violence and suicide in India
Further information: Domestic violence in India
Domestic violence is a major risk factor for suicide in a study in Bangalore. However, as a fraction of total suicides, violence against women - such as domestic violence, rape, incest and dowry - accounted for less than 4% of total suicides.
Suicide motivated by politics
Suicides motivated by ideology doubled between 2006 and 2008.
Farmer's suicide in India
Main article: Farmers' suicides in India
India's economy vastly depends on agriculture with around 60% of its people directly or indirectly depend upon it. Different reasons like droughts, lack of better prices, exploitation by Middlemen, inability to pay loans etc. lead Indian farmers to suicide.