What kills Nepalis? Nepal has markedly reduced maternal and child mortality rate and fewer people die because of lack of health treatment nowadays than in the past. Pollution has been a leading cause of deaths of many Nepalis, according to World Health Organization. But there is another equally serious factor that is leading to the deaths of promising youths of the country: Suicide. According to the data compiled from seven provinces by Nepal Police, a total of 7,144 people committed suicide across the country in the past year and 57 percent of those who killed themselves were youths. Alarmingly, the suicide rate is almost twice more than the registered crimes related to drugs and almost four times higher than the reported cases of rape that occurred during the period covered by the report. The data shows that of the total cases, 57 percent cases of suicides were committed by those from 16-25 and 26-35 age groups. Every day, 14 people commit suicide. WHO says suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 years old people. This is alarming figure and the government authorities must spring into action to do something to keep our youths from ending their lives.
Indeed, it’s tricky to figure out why youths, or individuals of any age group for that matter, choose to end their lives. Psychologists have ascribed this phenomenon to several of physical, emotional and social changes that occur in young people. Today’s youths face a lot more stresses and social pressures than we think. They worry about studies, jobs and lack of employment opportunities. Then there are relationship and marriage problems and the cut throat competition in the job market and the compulsion of having to succeed in the field they choose. We the adults sometimes fail to understand what is going on our youths’ minds. Besides, mental health problem, which is a leading cause of suicide among youths, is still stigmatized in our society. And the existing mental health facilities we have lack resources, human and physical. We must take suicide really seriously for projections are really scary. According to World Health Organization around 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and one person succumbs to it in every 40 seconds. WHO warns that mental health conditions cost the world $2.5 trillion a year and it could double to $6 trillion by 2030 if measures are not taken to address it.
Much of the responsibility of preventing suicide of youths lies in the family members themselves (they should constantly watch behavior of youths, encourage them to share their problems, and inspire them). Studies have shown that confiding with a trustworthy person and seeking professional help can go a long way in preventing suicide. But the government can also raise awareness campaigns in their own way. We need to reduce stigma, bring out suicide prevention programs nationally and implement them. The best the government can do is reassure the youths that their future is safe and that the government is there to enable them to succeed in their life and career. When, the youths, builders of the nation, choose to end their lives, we cannot think of better future.