‘610 people committed suicide in 2011’
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According to police records, 610 people committed suicide in the city in 2011. Of these, a whopping 64 per cent, or 390, hanged themselves. This year itself started on a sad note, with 62 people committing suicide in January.
Nationwide, the percentage of people committing suicide by hanging is 31.
Police records show that 88 persons consumed poison, which, according to city psycologists, could be attributed to the easy availability of poisonous chemicals and sleeping pills in the city.
As per the city police data, the other means for committing suicide were people slashing their wrist, shooting selves with a firearm and self-immolation.
Eighty-four people committed suicide by burning themselves. Seven persons, who had tried to immolate themselves, are now facing attempt to suicide charge.
Dr Seema Darode, clinical psychologist, said, "Poisonous chemicals should not be easily accessible. A few months ago, I had a patient who had consumed three bottles of poison at home. The tendency to kill oneself is more likely to arise when a person is extremely frustrated." Darode added that the rule that sleeping pills should not be sold by a chemist without prescription should be strictly followed.
Police data also shows that in 2011, 12 people died after slashing their wrists, 19 drowned on purpose, 11 jumped to their death from a height, two had dehydrated themselves and one jumped in front of a speeding vehicle. One person died due to fasting.
According to Bobby Zachariah, chief executive officer, Connecting, a city-based NGO that works for preventing suicides through its helpline, there has been considerable increase in the number of calls to the helpline. "Earlier, we used to get 150 calls per month. Now it has gone up to 300. Also, each month, there are 30-40 new persons who had never called a suicide prevention helpline before. Most who call us belong to the age group of 20-50," he said.
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