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Suicide worldwide in 2019 report

Context:

Suicide worldwide in 2019 was published by the World Health Organization (WHO) recently.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice (Health related issues, Government Schemes and Initiatives)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Suicide and what are suicide related laws in India?
  2. Highlights of the Suicide worldwide in 2019 report
  3. Suicides and SDG targets according to the report

What is Suicide and what are suicide related laws in India?

Suicide is defined as death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior.

Laws in India

  1. Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) states whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or both. It is to be noted that the abetting of the commission of suicide (but not the abetting of attempt to commit suicide) is covered under Section 306 IPC and the abetment of suicide of a child is covered under Section 305 IPC.
  2. The Mental Healthcare Act 2017 provides that “Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the IPC, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code. However, this law applies only to those suffering from mental illness. There is presumption of severe stress in case of an attempt to die by suicide.

Highlights of the Suicide worldwide in 2019 report

  • The Covid-19-pandemic has increased mental stress globally. However, a crisis was already in place in 2019 as more than 7 lakh people or one in a 100 in the world, died by suicide in 2019.
  • Many of those who died in suicide were young people as more than half of global suicides (58%) occurred before the age of 50 years.
  • Suicide was the fourth-leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 globally in 2019.
  • More than 75% of global suicides in 2019 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Africa, Europe and South-East Asia recorded suicide rates higher than the global average.
  • In 20 years (2000-2019), the global suicide rate had decreased by 36%.

Suicides in India

  • India has the highest suicide rate in the Southeast Asian region.
  • A total of 1,34,516 cases of suicide were reported in 2018 in India, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
  • While the rate of suicide was 9.9 in 2017, it increased to 10.2 in 2018.

Suicides and SDG targets according to the report

  • Reducing the global suicide mortality rate by a third is both, an indicator and a target (the only one for mental health) in the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But the world will not be able to reach this target.
  • The SDGs call on countries to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by a third, by 2030 through prevention and treatment and to promote mental health and well-being.
  • They ask countries to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol. They also call for universal health coverage, which mental health is part of.
  • Although some countries have placed suicide prevention high on their agendas, too many countries remain uncommitted, the report said. Currently, only 38 countries are known to have a national suicide prevention strategy.

Click Here to read more about Mental wellbeing and related Initiatives in India

-Source: Down to Earth Magazine

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