The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the mental health of people in Gurugram.
The monthly average of suicide cases has witnessed a spike with as many as 240 persons taking their own lives from January 1 to August 31 this year.
"The increase in the number of suicide cases is a matter of concern and the police have taken up this issue with state’s health and social justice and empowerment department to take up remedial measures to prevent suicide. The department will soon organise a workshop on mental health with a specialised doctor to deal with the issue ," said a senior police official.
According to official data, 206 out of 240 cases have been registered under Section 174 of the CrPc at various police stations of the district in just eight months of 2020, while as many as 34 have been registered under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
However, officials with the department said the police will soon launch suicide prevention and counselling helpline number after a shocking spike in the number of suicides and suicide attempts in the district over the last eight months.
"We are planning to come up with a dedicated helpline to counsel people with suicidal thoughts. We are trying to rope in psychiatrists and psychologists who will provide counselling to people over the phone or such people can approach the police. Besides, we will also resolve the issue through community policing," the officer said.
According to the police, the city’s upscale locations witnessed the maximum number of suicides. Recently a 94-year-old woman committed suicide by jumping off the balcony of her 15th floor of her condominium in Gurugram.
In another case, a 25-year-old woman attached with a private airline had also committed suicide in Gurugram.
"People have committed suicide due to multiple reasons including marital disorder, financial crisis, drug addiction, health issues or illness, unemployment, love affairs, or family disputes,” said Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Sr. Consultant Psychiatrist at Paras Hospital Gurugram.
“As many as 7 out of every 10 patients since the lockdown have said that they felt suicidal during the lockdown. There is a clear and sharp rise from the pre-lockdown time when we saw such thoughts in 5 to 7 people out of every 10 patients".
This is almost a 70 percent rise from March. Society as a whole needs to accept that suicide is a major public health problem and needs to be tackled like cancer or chronic illness. Do not discourage or stigmatise people with mental health issues so that they can take timely help,” Kapoor said.