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 National Suicide Prevention Strategy is the need of the hour: Vice President

The Vice President of India,  M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for putting in place a National Suicide Prevention Strategy to curb the tendency of youngsters and others to end their lives due to depression and frustration. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the 19th Annual Conference of Indian Association of Private Psychiatry (IAPP), in Hyderabad today

Expressing concern over the prevalence of suicides in the country, the Vice President said that he was disturbed by news reports of suicide by youngsters, farmers and women. He called for a national campaign and added that there was a need for collective efforts from all stakeholders including the immediate family members, public health planners, policymakers and NGOs to prevent suicides. Timely counseling and family support can prevent people suffering from depression from taking any extreme step, he added.

The Vice President said that Yoga, meditation and spiritualism will provide mental equilibrium and solace at times of depression. Modern day fast paced lifestyle and stress were also leading to depression among youngsters, he said. There is every need to strengthen our age old family system, which can provide support for people suffering from dispersion, he added.

The Vice President said that modern medicines and proper treatment would enable people suffering from psychiatric disorders to lead normal productive lives even if they had faced the problem for a long-term. He said that it was unfortunate they often faced ill-treatment and discrimination, sometimes at the hands of close relatives and family members.

Naidu said that nobody has any right to ill-treat patients with mental illness adding that such kind of behavior would further aggravate the severity of illness.

The Vice President said that both the developing and the developed nations were beset with different types of health issues, mental illness was one of the leading non-communicable diseases ailing the world and has become a major public health problem. According to WHO, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, he said. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, he added.

The Vice President said that more women were affected by depression than men. He further said that at least 13.7 per cent of India’s general population has been projected to be suffering from a variety of mental illnesses and 10.6 per cent of this requires immediate intervention. In all, nearly 150 million Indians are in a need of active medical intervention, according to the National Mental Health Survey 2015-2016 submitted by NIMHANS to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, he added.

Pointing out India that was placed in a uniquely advantageous position because 65 per cent of the population is below the age of 35 years, the Vice President stressed the need to hugely step up our efforts to help youth who are prone to bouts of depression to get rid of the problem. Apart from strengthening public health care system, he called for including Psychiatric disorders in Medical Insurance.

The President of IAPP, Dr. M.S. Reddy, the Vice President of IAPP, Dr. G. Prasada Rao, the Secretary General of IAPP, Dr. Pramod Kumar and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.


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