Coimbatore, a city known for affluent communities, economically vibrant and industrially progressive, ranks fifth in the number of suicides across the country.

The National Crime Records Bureau's report “Crime in India – 2010”, released on Thursday, showed that based on the ranking done on total population, Coimbatore city ranks fifth with 326 deaths in 2010 at a percentage of 2.4 of the estimated 14.5 lakh population.

Ranking is not done based on the number of suicides but on the number of suicides proportionate to the population of the place.

The total number of suicides in the State stood at 16,561.

Jabalpur is the city that tops the list in the country, followed by Rajkot, Bangalore and Vijayawada.

Statistics revealed that of the total 326 deaths in Coimbatore, 208 were men/boys and 118 were women/girls.

The major causes for suicides are family problems (196 suicides), health ailments (86), love affairs (10), cancellation or non-settlement of marriage (6), failure in examinations (3), career problems (3). The means chosen by the victims to end their lives are hanging (122), self-immolation (47) and poison (157).

The concern is that those who commit suicide belong to the productive group - 134 people in the age group of 15 to 29, followed by 93 between 30 and 44 who are bread winners of the family or mother leaving behind children, 68 in the age group of 45 to 59 and 29 above the age of 60. It is disheartening to know that two female children less than 14 years had also ended their lives for trivial reasons.

Statistics also revealed that 80 housewives had committed suicide, while 74 working in private organisations, 47 self-employed persons, 39 unemployed and 17 students' ended lives.

Psychiatrists attributed the increasing suicidal rates to the change in life pattern and the increasing stress level in every day life. Extreme decisions were taken without considering family welfare and hence awareness level should be created on the very fact that suicide is not the solution to problems.

Suicides often bring a permanent solution to a very temporary problem. Measures to control suicides include incorporating in academics lessons about the positive aspects of life, counselling for people through mass media and interactive programmes on confidence building.

These measures could bring down the suicide rates, psychiatrists say. People can also contact the anti-suicide helpline number 0422-6456459 at the Commissioner's Office.

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