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National Suicide Prevention Strategy | Today’s The Hindu Editorial Analysis for UPSC

Significance of National Suicide Prevention Strategy for UPSC


Under UPSC CSE Mains Syllabus, The National Suicide Prevention Strategy covers GS Paper 1: Population and Associated Issues, GS Paper 2: Government Policies & Interventions & Health.


Why National Suicide Prevention Strategy is in news?


  • Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, published National Suicide Prevention Strategy.
  • It has been a long time coming, but the Strategy, finally in the public realm, calls attention to the massive burden of suicides in the country.


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What are the goals to be achieved through ”National Suicide Prevention Strategy”?


  • National Suicide Prevention Strategy is the first of its kind in the country, with time-bound action plans and multi-sectoral collaborations to achieve reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030.
  • The strategy is in line with the World Health Organisation’s South East-Asia Region Strategy for suicide prevention.
  • At the same time, it has measured the paces forward with a time­bound action plan that takes into account the grim realities of a varying ground situation in India.
  • Impor­tantly, the document notes that contrary to be­lief, the majority of suicides are preventable.

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What are the most common reasons of suicide?


  • The most common reasons include family problems and illnesses, while other causes include marital conflicts, love aairs, bankruptcy, substance abuse and depen­dence.
  • Further, in approximately 10% of cases, the cause for suicide remains unknown.


How Suicide is a Global Problem?


What WHO’s data says?

  • Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-­29 ­year­ olds  and also the second leading cause of death for females aged 15­-19 years, as per WHO estimates.

What NCRB’s data says?

  • In India, more than one lakh lives are lost every year to suicide.
  • In the past three years, the suicide rate has increased from 10.2 to 11.3 per 1,00,000 pop­ulation.
  • As per National Crime Records Bureau statistics, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pra­desh, West Bengal and Karnataka have the high­est percentage share of suicides (2018­-2020), ranging between 8% to 11%.

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What are the key provisions of National Suicide Prevention Strategy?


  • The National Suicide Prevention Strategy is etched with evidence ­based practices to reduce the number of suicides, in­spired by WHO’s strategy for the South East Asian region, and strings together multiple sectoral col­laborations to provide a cohesive strategy and achieve the intended reduction in the number of suicides.
  • In addition to committing to establish­ing eective surveillance mechanisms within the next three years, and psychiatric outpatient de­partments in all districts over five years, the Stra­tegy also intends to write in mental health in the curriculum in educational institutions within the next eight years. 
  • Addressing issues relevant to In­dia, including access to pesticides, and alcoho­lism, has set the Strategy on the path towards achievement of the goals.


Government Schemes


Way forward


  • The best first step towards addressing a malaise is to recognize that it exists, which is rightly done by the government, recognizing suicide a serious problem.
  • However, more need to be done at the level of states to achieve a reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030, as in a federal country like India, any success is possible only if States are enthusiastic participants in the roll out.
  • The problem is indeed dire, and without targeted intervention pro­grammes, and stigma reduction strategies, a pu­blic health crisis of gargantuan proportions is im­minent.


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