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Saturday, February 4, 2023
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Rising suicides

As many as 115 people committed suicide due to poverty, unemployment, domestic insecurity and property disputes in 2021 in Rahim Yar Khan. These are distressing figures and depict the plight of a common man. Among the persons who took their own lives, majority are women followed by young people. The age remained from 18 to 30 who mainly committed suicide. Besides this, several others attempted suicide due to various issues. Despite a worldwide increase of 60 percent in tragic yet puzzling suicidal rates, the subject is still largely kept under wraps in Pakistan.

Many developed countries have swiftly reacted to these alarming figures by focusing their attention towards multi-faceted suicide prevention campaigns. However, such initiatives remain largely ignored in the developing world where no substantial effort is made to collect data on suicides, let alone design any solid intervention strategy. Pakistan is no exception in this regard, and suicide as a mode of death continues to exist here as an under-reported and under-researched domain. In order to collaborate with the international community in developing suicide prevention initiatives, Pakistan needs to immediately fill its existing void of national data on suicide. Because of an absence of any official recognition of the act, no comprehensive policy has yet been successful as a deterrent against suicide despite the existence of punitive laws, which regard both suicide and parasuicide as criminal offences under the PPC 309 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

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Suicidal thoughts are not a disease that can be cured with medicine and prevention. Committing suicide is an act that is final and absolute, and the pain remains forever for those who lose their loved ones to a self-inflicted act. What is needed to understand symptoms of suicide tendencies are the gifts of empathy, compassion, and responsiveness to pain of others. While we cannot protect our loved ones from pain, what we can do is be there for them when they hurt. Hold your loved one who is in pain to let him or her know that he or she is not alone, and that no issue is worth losing sleep over, let alone life.


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