With the highest suicide rate in the South East Asian region, India has a suicide rate of 16.5 suicides per 100,000 people as per the WHOs report (2016). Mental health issues have played a major role in this rising number and it is believed that more than a sixth of the suicides in India are due to ‘illnesses’- such as clinical depression, cancer, paralysis, sexually transmitted diseases etc.
Recently, a 1988 batch Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officer, Keshav Saxena (57 years old) died of suicide. Keshav, the principal commissioner of the income tax department was going through depression for a long time, as reported by his family. According to a report by the WHO, nearly 7.5% of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental health issue.
While he was rushed to Primus hospital (Chanakyapuri) immediately, Keshav was declared dead on arrival. Further investigation into the case led the police to find a suicide note in his room.
Hence, with the number of suicide cases on a rise, it is important to create more awareness about mental health as well as talk about the need for intervention and prevention, as well as to reduce the stigma prevalent in society so as to prevent it from happening in the future. There is also a need to do away with the stigmas, prejudices and fears attached with mental health issues in India.
Gupta, R (2019). India has the highest suicide rate in South-East Asia: WHO. Retrieved from here.
Mishra, A (2020). Revenue Officer commits suicide, body found in Delhi. Retrieved from here.