‘Better mental health to prevent suicide’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 10, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:50 AM, October 10, 2019

World Mental Health Day Today

‘Better mental health to prevent suicide’

While World Mental Health Day is being observed with the main theme “suicide prevention”, the menace of taking own life remains a major concern in the country as well as around the world.

Tapan Kundu, 50, son of Bishwanath Kundu of Chatmohar Natun-Bazar, hanged himself at his shop on July 1 this year amid depression following losses in business for few years.

“My husband, once a solvent businessman, had become frustrated thinking about maintenance of family and social status. Now I and my two daughters are living with the help of relatives and locals as there is no other income source in the family,” said Shilpi Kundu, wife of Tapan.

For Tapan’s mother Bithika Kundu, it was a second blow of the kind as her elder son Debashish Kundu also took his own life over three decades ago when he was 25 years old.

“After failing to get sufficient money as capital for business from his father, Debashish got angry and one day he committed suicide. After bearing the pain for long years, now I have lost my younger son Tapan in the same way,” Bithika said.

According to World Health Organization, a life is lost to suicide every 40 second, the figure being over 800,000 a year.

Against the backdrop, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has decided to make “suicide prevention” the main theme of World Mental Health Day this year, said Dr Alberto Trimboli, president of WFMH.

“Suicidal behavior has existed throughout human history, but due to several complex factors, it has increased gradually in all parts of the world and, in the past few decades, has reached alarming statistical levels,” he said in a message marking the day.



Researches and case studies about suicide show that mental health conditions are behind over 90 percent of suicide or suicide attempt cases.

In different ways people are affected with mental conditions like depression, drug addiction, chronic schizophrenia, personality crises, crises in adjustment in life, anxiety disorder and chronic wrong lifestyle, said Dr Masud Rana, senior consultant of Pabna Mental Hospital.

“Over 90 percent suicide around the world can be prevented by improving mental health situation. In most cases a suicide victim has a tendency to take own life. If we can identify the risk factor and solve the problem for specific patient, suicide can be prevented,” said Dr Masud, also acting director of the country’s lone specialized hospital for patients with mental disorders.

“When a patient is admitted to mental hospital, we take his or her history and assess the suicide risk and arrange proper treatment. When the patient gets release we give guidance to the family how to handle the patient at home,” he added.

“Dissatisfaction in life and social and family troubles are often behind suicide cases. Measures should be taken at family, society and state levels to ensure the basic needs in life, which will help to prevent suicide,” said Prof Dr AKM Shawkat Ali Khan, head of social science department of Pabna Edward College.

Meanwhile, 1037 people died by suicide in Pabna in last four years, according to the record of the district police administration.

“Of them 242 people died in 2016, 301 in 2017, 301 in 2018 and 193 from January to June this year. Most of the suicide victims were women and young people,” said Md Rafikul Islam, superintendent of police in Pabna.

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