Suicide: A major problem in Sri Lanka
According to a staggering new WHO Report, Sri Lanka is the 4th most suicide prone country in the world, with 28.8 individuals per 100,000 committing suicide. This is significantly higher than the global rate of 11.4 per 100,000 individuals, with the most commonly used methods involving firearms, pesticide poisoning, hanging and jumping off buildings. Add to the fact that 3500 Sri Lankans took their lives last year, it makes for grim reading. Gunatilleke (2013) reports that suicide is a significant reason for the demise of individuals between 15 and 35. The question is: Why?
The World Happiness Report 2013 may shed some light on this dilemma. Sri Lanka is one of the least happiest countries in the world, ranking 137 out of a measured 156 nations. The report adds that we have become less happier since the first report was published in 2010. Further reading cites mental health as the ‘single most important cause of unhappiness’, and manifests in the form of depression and anxiety. Wickramasinghe (2014) agrees, suggesting the victim often feels that the level of suffering is too much and wants to end his/her suffering. Other reasons are due to psychosis, impulsive behaviour and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), where victims are exposed to highly traumatic experiences such as war, violence, death threats or sexual assault.
Help is Available
If you, dear reader, can relate to this article and feel that you have depression and/or suicidal thoughts, please contact Sumithrayo. They are a non profit who have listened to countless stories for over 40 years and will help you too. They have trained professionals who conduct awareness programs and are available 365 days a year, maintain client confidentiality and offer their services for free to those who need it the most. Contact can be reached via phone, email, letters or on a face to face basis and go out of their way to provide you the emotional support which you need.
In the meantime, get a Hope box and fill it with your with items which mean a lot to you: letters/emails from those who care about you, pictures of the ones you love, photographs of the special times in your life, inspirational or religious quotes, a CD of your favorite songs, jokes or a DVD of your favorite comedian which make you laugh-anything which helps you smile. At the end of the day, no matter what, suicide is not the answer.
Help a Friend
If you know someone who may display warning signs of being overwhelmed or depressed, take action. The cues are often subtle, and may be physical, behavioural or even noticeable in everyday conversation. If you notice that something may be amiss, speak up and say you want to help them. If you know somebody who has been a little distant, ask how they are doing and let them know you care.
Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.