On World Suicide Prevention Day Expert in Manipur warns: COVID-19 pandemic triggers suicide tendency

An expert in Manipur called for not to indulge in “emotional distancing” while observing rise in suicide cases during the time of COVID-19 pandemic. He made this comment on the occasion of the 18th World Suicide Prevention Day which Manipur also joined the rest of the globe in the observation of the day.

Manipur state branch of the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) observed the day jointly with National Mental Health Programme of State Health Society and Indian Medical Association (IMA), Manipur state under the theme of the year, “Working together to prevent suicide”.

Speaking at the function held at the auditorium of IMA complex, IPS state branch president Dr S Manikanta said that as tendency of committing suicide among the COVID-19 infected persons is very high, utmost care needs to be taken up. He also said the COVID-19 induced lockdown affects mental health owing to a number of reasons such as job loss, fear of the disease, social isolation, etc. “The pandemic is causing panic attacks, anxiety and depression, putting more people at risk for suicide”, he added. 

Dr Manikanta then cautioned that depeening economic crisis and numerous uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 may increase suicide rates during and after the pandemic.
He then observed that to check suicide cases during pandemic one may observe social distancing but not emotional distancing.   Dr Manikanta also said that globally one person commits suicide every 40 seconds and added it may rise further during and after pandemic. “Suicidal behaviour is likely to persist for a long time as COVID-19 pandemic has affected mental health globally”, he added.

Dr Manikanta then said that 80% of the suicide cases were due to depression. He also said that, globally, suicide cases are very common among the people of age ranging from 15 to 29 years. “To eliminate suicide cases from the globe, there is the need for a mass awareness on the subject”, Dr Manikanta also said. He then observed that there will be certain changes in the behaviour and character of the person before he committed suicide. 

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