Last year, 399 persons committed suicide in the city, either by consuming poison or hanging to death. In a bid to contain unnatural deaths, the city police plan to rope in health officials, counsellors and teachers to educate the vulnerable in the society.

Inaugurating a meeting in Sellur on Tuesday, Commissioner of Police P. Balasubramanian said that of the 399 persons who had committed suicide in 2009, Sellur alone accounted for 68. In 2008, out of 354 suicide cases, again Sellur topped the list, with 54 persons, including 26 women.

The other areas which were ‘suicide-prone’ included Karimedu, Jaihindpuram, S.S. Colony and Teppakulam police station limits. Most of the victims were daily wage earners and poor people. They had ended their lives due to poor health or debts. Hence, the police officers held preliminary meeting with the district health authorities on the issue. It was decided to provide counselling to men and women living in these pockets. The Commissioner appreciated the efforts of the Sellur police personnel in taking up such an initiative.

Psychiatrist C. Ramasubramanian; Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) P.C. Thenmozhi; Joint Director (Health) Panchanathan; District Social Welfare Officer Jayalakshmi; Project Officer (Mahalir Thittam) Thangavelu; and Fatima College Principal Rev. Sr. A. Fatima spoke.

It was proposed to regularly interact with poor people living in thickly populated areas such as Sellur and Karimedu, and identify reasons that led to suicide.

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