SHILLONG: Meghalaya ranks third in suicide cases among the small states in North East India, a dubious distinction by all means. Suicide is the problem of Meghalaya as much as it is the problem all over India and the world.
The National Crime Records Bureau, NCRB estimates that around 1,35,445 people died of suicide in India in 2011 alone out of which Meghalaya added 156 reported cases.
Tripura tops the list with 703 reported cases, followed by Sikkim (184), Meghalaya (156), Mizoram (90), Nagaland (33) and Manipur (33), among the North eastern states.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are co-sponsoring World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. The theme of this 11th anniversary event is ‘Stigma: A Major Barrier for Suicide Prevention’.
In Shillong, looking at local concerns, the Counselling and Psychology Department of Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU) organised a one-day programme with school children and university students.
Head of this Department, Maribon V Sangma, said, “We are concerned about the suicide trend and we would like to tackle this at the core, by investing more time with the young people.
“We are doing our bit to provide a solution but would love to see community based organisations taking ownership in responding to this social issue without stigmatizing people.”
In his opening speech, MLCU Vice Chancellor RG Lyngdoh said, “A few decades ago suicide was taboo and rare, because the indigenous community had a good support system then, but times have changed, the pressures are building up and suicide ideation is a reality today. As evolving communities, we need to caringly take stock of the situation now.”
MLCU has also started a Counseling Help Desk and has requested people in need to contact the number 9856277929 or through e-mail at [email protected].