WOW | Men Speak
why are suicide rates rising?
Founder & CEO, Dulla Official
2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Worldwide survey reports prove an increase in suicide rates by the day. I feel this is especially because of the lockdown and the uncertain situation that Covid 19 has invited. There is no denying that the world can be a lonely place but isolation does trigger depression by putting us in a mood of deep thought and reflection, which might be especially harmful to people not doing very well mentally. I feel if we strike maximum dialogue, help those who we feel might need help both financially and emotionally, check what we casually say both in online and offline spaces, and do not hesitate to ask for help if we are the ones suffering, it might help save a person considering suicide.
Every year around close to eight lakh people die because of suicide and Nepal alone has an estimated 6840 suicides annually which is also the leading cause of death for Nepalese women from 15-49 years of age. I believe mental disorders, drug misuse, psychological stress, social situations trauma and loss makes people take the cruel decision of taking their own lives.
Moving to our country’s situation at the moment, according to data, suicide rates are increasing in numbers with the increase in people suffering from mental health issues. The increase in youngsters committing suicide has also gone up. Mental disorder, unfulfilled desires and failed loved affairs have been a prominent reason. Whatever the reason might be, we need to educate our people and create awareness about mental health issues and its damages. Talk to your family and loved ones. Seek treatment. Asking for help is okay and not a sign of weakness. Also know that it’s not your fault. Suicide is not a solution. There are many mental health hotline numbers, call and talk. I am sure they will listen because that’s what I’m trying to do too… to listen.
Co-founder, MadLad Productions & Fashion Photographer
The suicide rate in men is comparatively higher than in women. It often starts in childhood. We tell boys that boys don’t cry. We condition boys from a very young age to not express emotion, because to express emotion is to be ‘weak’. It all starts with our society cause if men decide to speak up about their weakness or mental issues they feel that society will judge them instead of helping them to cope with the issues. The society tells us to “be a man” but being a man also means that we are emotional, we are vulnerable and we face a lot of pressures from the society itself.
However, the most common risk factors for suicide today might be
• Using drugs and/or alcohol to help cope with emotions, relationships, the pressure of work, or other issues
• Social isolation or living alone
• Not being able to form or sustain meaningful relationships
• Divorce or relationship breakdowns
Personally I have always felt secure in myself as a person and my surroundings due to my family and friends circle which have helped me to grow as a person and be comfortable in every aspect of my life. But saying that, I do acknowledge the fact that there are people who are struggling in their daily life be it in any form which leads to this disastrous end called suicide. I highly condemn suicide as I don’t feel it is a solution to any problem and a way to escape the reality of life.
Suicide rates are increasing rapidly today and I feel it has got to do a lot with social isolation, excessive use of social media as it decreases face to face communication which definitely lacks human connection. Moreover, people can’t deal with bullying and social media. The various platforms of social media have been a medium of constant online harassment where you are being judged continuously just like that. I want to urge people to be comfortable in their skin and be vocal about their problems with someone they trust. If it’s very serious then it is okay to seek help from a professional before it’s too late.
Director, Darcy’s International Hotel and Darcy’s International Store & Chairman, Smoke Nepal
I believe there are multiple reasons behind the suicide rates increasing. Every individual’s life experiences are unique to them and so are their sufferings. Factors such as age, gender, economic status, family history play a huge role. Having said that, I believe lack of awareness about mental health and lack of right support system could be one of the main reasons. There is a huge stigma attached to mental illness so people shy away from it and do not openly talk about their issues. Even when they talk about it, not having the right support and guidance can lead to more complications. No matter the reason, I want to take this opportunity to emphasise that suicide is not the solution. I truly believe that we all need to be kind to each other, be more compassionate and make efforts to becoming better listeners to prevent the rates from increasing further.
Seejan Pratap JB Rana
Architect, Archraphix Design Studio
Suicide is an outcome of a lot of collective issues which should be addressed in the initial phases. First and foremost people should stop acting as counsellors or medical professionals while giving advise or counseling to the affected person.
Depression and mental illness has to be taken as any other form of illness and if required medical actions accordingly. We should thrive towards a society where going to a medical professional or a counsellor should be taken in a normal way and encouraged which is quite the opposite in our country’s case.
Talking about mental illness and supporting while they actually come out should be our effort towards reducing its impact. A government level approach is a must. Suicide should be taken very seriously by any government or country. Getting to the root of cases and working towards the eradication of the initial problems is important. We can see the example of New Zealand lead by Jacinda Ardern having a task force/ a separate office just to get to people in need of help and immediate call to action. Mental health awareness campaigns should be conducted from early teen age in schools and colleges.