Assam Police’s Initiative To Curb Suicides In The City

Assam Police’s Initiative To Curb Suicides In The City

Soumyadeep Das

Worried about the rising cases of suicide in the city, the Assam Police is mulling over how to curb the cases of self-harm in the city.

With the recent incident of a schoolgirl, who in an attempt to end her life, leaped off the school building in Guwahati in Assam, talks of mental well-being have again sought attention. The girl, who was in a critical condition, had very little chances of survival, according to doctors attending her. The case has again highlighted the very delicate issue of mental health and the need to encourage the habit of seeking help.

Worried about the rising cases of suicide in the city, the Assam Police is mulling over how to curb the cases of self-harm in the city.

In a bid to put a stop to the rising cases of suicide cases of suicides, the police have come into association with various organizations in the city. Calling for total support from the media and various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Assam, they said that a helpline number is also in talks and will reportedly be released soon.

In a commendable undertaking by the police, parents will be able to take free-of-charge consultations whenever required. They have also urged family members to closely monitor their children's mental state. They further asked parents to consult whenever they notice any unusual behaviour in their children.

According to official data released by the Police Commissionerate, a total of 373 suicide cases were registered in various police stations of the city from January 1 to December 20, 2021, under the three police districts – Central Police District (CPD), East Police District (EPD), and West Police District (WPD).

Notably, a total of 79 cases, the most, were registered at Fatasil Ambari Police Station under the WPD, while the All Women Police Station under CPD did not register a single case of suicide.

The Police Stations in Assam's Guwhati that registered the most cases of suicide were Dispur PS (42), Azara PS (33), Noonmati PS (26), Paltan Bazar PS, and Jalukbari PS (25 each), and Satgaon PS and Hatigaon PS (20 each).

Meanwhile, only a handful, seven in total, of Police Stations in Assam's Guwahati registered cases of death by suicide which were in single digits, highlighting how deep-rooted the problem was.

The numbers go on to show the need for more talk on the matter. As social media and its use have increased over time among youth, there has been a consequent increase in cases of suicides. People often portray things in an extravagant manner on social media, which may not be true in real life.

The impact it has on children is immeasurable, especially as content on social media is largely unregulated, and algorithms work in a way to show the type of content that a user generally views. This sometimes leads to disturbing content put in front of a user who may not yet have the mental maturity to comprehend such content.

What it does is create a nonexistent world or set unreal expectations for children who have not matured enough yet. The pressure to be something that someone is not, in order to fit into society is sometimes too much for a young adult to deal with.

Even after so many deaths due to suicide in Assam, it is alarming how jibes like "mental health and depression are a myth" revolve around society. They need to understand that people suffer from the inside due to various reasons which may include trauma at a young age, or the aforementioned 'fear of missing out', is the need of the hour.

Depression and other mental health issues have always been there. Earlier, they were clubbed under the umbrella term 'madness'; unimaginable, but true. The sheer negligence to acknowledge that people may be suffering from the inside has been a major reason behind so many deaths by suicide.

Hence, it is high time we start talking and accepting that not everyone is as jolly and merry as they may seem on the outside. The need to connect more with loved ones in order to just sit down and listen to their problems, goes a long way.

In times of a pandemic that has gripped the whole world, it is very easy to lose hope. But all one needs is a beacon of light in the darkness, a hand reaching out, an assurance that someone is there for them. Gestures that may seem little but go a long way in saving a loved one's life.

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