The spurt in the number of suicides witnessed in the immediate wake of the COVID pandemic due to job loss, poor health, and uncertainty about the future, has relented a little, declining by 14% from 889 in 2021 to 758 in 2022.
A total of 2,502 persons died by suicide in the past three years between 2020 and 2022 with a majority of them men at 1,710 and the rest 792 women.
As per the data procured from the police department, 709 persons died by suicide in 2019 with the number rising to 855 and 889 in 2020 and 2021 respectively during the peak COVID 19 pandemic.
According to police, the maximum number of people who died by suicide were labourers (28%) followed by housewives (24%), students (11%), private employees (10%), businessmen and government employees (four per cent each), farmers (three per cent), and others (16%).
The suicide cases were attributed to marriage-related issues, financial issues, drug addiction, sickness, unemployment, unsuccessful love affairs, and other family problems.
"We had brought the suicide cases under radar and started a Register Number 27 to keep a record of suicide cases and analyse the reasons behind such extreme steps and started interventions through health and social justice department to take remedial measures which has yielded results," DGP Sanjay Kundu told PTI.
Age profiling of victims revealed that students and those in early marriage life, in the age bracket of 18-35, in addition to those with troubled marriages and hectic professional life, aged 35-50, were more vulnerable to kill themselves.
Former Himachal Pradesh State Mental Health Authority (HPSMHA) CEO and mental health expert Dr Sanjay Pathak, who retired on March 31 this year, attributed the tapering of suicide cases to fading of COVID trauma and attendant depression.
The survey conducted by HPSMHA to assess the psychological impact of the pandemic in 2021 revealed that 42.92% of the people were worried about their future and family, 40.46% were stressed due to the financial loss, 50% felt anxious and depressed by reading and watching content regarding pandemic.
Those in distress could seek help and counselling by calling helplines from this link.