hen doctors across the valley are busy in handling Covid second wave, another serious challenge has assumed alarming proportions during past few weeks. Mental health has been dealt a severe blow and suicides are taking place on daily basis.
Kashmir valley has witnessed a sharp rise in suicide cases over the past one year owing to varied reasons ranging from lockdown to unemployment.
In what can be seen as an alarming repercussion of the pandemic-induced lockdown, the UT has witnessed a spike in the number of teen suicide cases during the period, raising concern over the mental and emotional wellbeing of the Vallities.
“A person commits suicide when he or she reaches the extreme condition of hopelessness. This situation is generally created when a society hankers after materialistic needs,” said a Psychiatrist, Dr Junaid Nabi.
According to Dr Junaid, school closures, stay-at-home orders, unemployment, and shutdowns of businesses deemed “non-essential” are contributing to surging rates of depression and suicide among young people.
Asked if the turmoil had any role to play in the suicides, Junaid said violence may not be directly responsible for suicides in Kashmir but it does create a situation whereby a person might contemplate or attempt to end his or her life.
Also Read : Career Options in Beauty and Wellness Industry
As per Dr Taseem, the other factors responsible for most of the suicides in the valley are failed love affairs, failure of students to meet the expectation of their parents and marital discord.
“Teenagers are far more sensitive and emotionally weaker. They have lesser tolerance levels, which explains why a higher number of persons who commit suicide belong to teenage,” said, Dr Junaid.
A senior expert and HRA, Syed Mujtaba said efforts should be taken to make early psychosocial intervention among teenagers to prevent depression and suicidal thoughts. “ The matter is not that teenagers are doing suicide due to financial crunch or any other serious issue, but the issue is they are less interactive with their family members, they don’t express their feelings. We have to catch them early and focus should be given on prevention,” he said.
According to Mujtaba, most of those who have committed suicides over the past few months are in their mid-20s.
“Both parents and teachers should have the ability to identify troubling traits among teenagers. Especially parents have a huge role. In most cases, the triggering reason behind the suicide could have been easily preventable,” said Syed Mujtaba.
There is nothing that connects all these cases except for the fact that they were “fighting helplessness and uncertainty”, said another mental health expert, Dr Taseem Mir. “This has become a prevailing condition since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, bringing with it months long lockdowns and economic misery,” he said.
“There is need for a support system to check the trend of rising suicides,” he said.
Dr Taseem said non-fencing of bridges in Srinagar was also a factor in high incidence of suicides in Srinagar.
“Look, some years ago, Amira Kadal bridge was known as suicidal bridge, after its proper fencing, not a single suicide was was reported from this bridge,” he said. Adding that authorities need to cover these bridges, so that no such tragic incidents will happen in future.