Sunday, December 18, 2011

Suicide – the facts and figures are still startling – here are the 2011 figures

In the period January to June 2011 – 1529 Males and 449 Females committed suicide making a total of 1978. In the whole year 2010 – 2914 Males and 950 Females for a total of 3864 committed suicide. The main causes were of affairs of the heart and the predominant means was by way of consumption of pesticides.(source:Sunday Maubima – Dec18th)

I have done no research as to how it compares with other countries or whether it is relatively high, but I know it is preventable, as the main reasons are of a very fleeting or temporary nature that can be solved by intervention of a close confidante or relative. In my rajaratarala blog I noted a few months ago, how a person committed suicide on one of our properties, this too had to do with a relationship that went wrong, which then resulted in disposing of all possible items to imbibe in alcohol to numb the senses owing to this break-up.

I know there is some effort to dilute the strength of some of these pesticides so as not to make it so lethal, but that is a bandage that may or may not work and actually in the eyes of the user of the poison for the purpose to which it is was bought is now of no use anyway as it does not do the job it portends to.

The widespread use of mobile phones especially amongst the very young school children, is an added dimension, as these illicit romances are carried out behind the backs of the parents, who if and when they find out get uncontrollably violent or indignant, resulting in runaway kids who are not mature enough to manage on their own. Sometimes they make a pact when they see no option out of their predicament and with the need to be together having read about similar stories (last week an awol soldier and two sisters committed suicide by hanging in Eppawela) they do it together, not having made any effort to resolve it with consultation.

In Sri Lanka going to counseling is still not in the culture and also speaking frankly about one’s feelings is rare. Therefore this simple solution is not resorted to. I am sure that there are establishment figures who are also looking into this issue, and I would propose depending on the seriousness of this amongst teens and 20 somethings, to include this in part of an overall program of introducing social and soft skills in schools to make introduction into society a smoother one.

Death especially of the very young and promising is hard for us to accept, and if there is anything we can do to even prevent one loss of life we should. I am sure the statistics and the solutions have been discussed, so let us implement them soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The figures you mention are merely the successful ones. There is a number possibly 10X as much that are unsuccessful and doctors in hospitals will tell you how many people they save by stomach pumping and other means, which really goes to the heart of the problem.

If one ignores the cost to the Health Services, the lack of proper counseling support results in this being public health issue that needs to be tackled urgently.

The traditional family has broken down in society, and young people do not get emotional support from their parents leaving them to cope alone, with no support system and their very impressionable minds lead them to do stupid things.

Allied to this the freely available pesticides also need to be mentioned, and some more responsible method of storing them and disposing of them needs to be set up.