Nepal sees decline in suicide rate by 35 pc this fiscal

May 03, 2019

Shuvam Dhugana, The Himalayan Times, May 03, 2019

KATHMANDU: Nepal has witnessed a sharp decline in the number of suicides committed in the country. The suicide rate has decreased by 35 per cent until now in the current fiscal year in comparison to the previous year, according to the data shared by the Nepal Police.

It has been learnt that the current fiscal year (2018/19) has witnessed the least number of suicidal deaths compared to the data of the last five years.

As per the report provided by the police, a total of 4,332 people committed suicide in the fiscal year (2014/15) while the number rose to 4,680 in the following fiscal (2015/16).

Similarly, in the fiscal year 2016/17, the number of suicides surged to 5,124. Likewise, in the immediate past fiscal year (2017/18), the number of suicidal deaths reached 5,317.

Most of the suicide victims have taken their lives by hanging themselves, while others by consuming poison, jumping from heights and drowning.

The Nepal Police data prompts that there has been a steady rise in the number of deaths by suicide from 2014/15 till 2017/18. However, in the current fiscal year, (2018/19), the number of recorded suicides have plunged to 3,488; the lowest of all time.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) report of 2015 shows that Nepal ranked 126th in terms of global suicide rates.

According to Nepal Police Spokesperson and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Uttam Raj Subedi, the police in coordination with various government bodies and other organisations have been conducting awareness programmes from time to time across the country in order to discourage and eventually minimise such incidents.

“Nepal police has been taking strict action against the complaints of domestic violence which has reduced the cases of suicide in rural areas. We have also started taking action against those who are responsible for creating conditions which lead their victims to commit such acts,” shared Subedi.

He further suggested parents to take time with their children and observe their behaviours as most of the people commit suicide due to stress, loneliness and sometimes on whims which can be checked if parents are able to maintain good communication with their children.

Dr Prabhakar Pokhrel, Psychologist at KIST Medical College, argued that depression was the main cause of suicide among youths aged between 16-28 years. High expectation, inability to cope with societal changes, mental disturbance, anxiety, drug addiction, business loss, among other factors were responsible for the rise in depression among younger generations, he added.

Pokhrel stated that people’s openness towards discussing their issues and motivational programs organised frequently in campuses could be major reasons behind the decline in suicide rates in recent times.

“Parents have now become alert about the mental health of their children and are giving more time in understanding their behaviour and resolving issues if any,” he added.