A Worrying Trend, An Optimistic Effort.
Over the last 100 years, medicine has made great leaps forward as it has developed vaccines for various diseases and completed eradicated many others. The mortality rates for pneumonia and influenza have come down drastically. With an exception of cancer and cardio-vascular diseases, mortality rates of almost all major causes of death around the globe have come down. One disease unfortunately has had a tendency to maintain its mortality rate or just decrease ever so slightly, Suicide.
Following are the suicide rates for most of the developed countries and one developing country, Sri Lanka, to act as the standard for how bad the situation of suicide prevalence in our world is not taking any steps back.
Some countries show a static trend, some have a slightly decreasing one and others are slightly upwards. Japan and Sri Lanka have shown a worrying upward trend in recent years.
There are many factors that go behind this lack of an impact on suicide rates even though psychological diseases have been accepted into the medical world and there have been multiple researches on suicide and its causal factors and yet the funds for these researches are miniature compared to other research grants present. “Around the world, more people die by suicide than by wars, homicide, and violence combined. We are each more likely to die by our own hands than by someone else’s. We need to better understand why.” Matthew Nock, a professor of psychology says.
There are many risk factors, external and internal, psychological and physical and some are limited to men and others to women. With so much yet to be known in this field, it is necessary for governments all over the world to increase research funds available to scientists. The budget for research in mental health as in 1982, the last time it was updates was Rs 1 crore which is approximately $160,000USD. India spends 0.06% of its budget on mental health which is even lower than Bangladesh (0.44%). With 6-7% of our population suffering from psychosocial disorders according to the official numbers, It becomes very important to increase the budget for mental health treatment and research. I will in a few days write a letter to PMO about it, I don’t think it would be read by anyone important or whether I would get a response or not but it is important to write in a hope. Maybe it might just be the letter in a bunch that gets read by someone in power who can then make some changes. I will try and upload a soft copy of the letter to be shared on the website for everyone to read. I have to try to make some change; I have to hope that I will because that is the only way I can.
If someone had told me to try something like this about 10 months again, I would have laughed him off and told him how little chance I have of succeeding in this but then again, I had very little chance to even get on the road to recovery and this leads me to the present where I might actually make some difference. I will not expect the best but I will at least try my best to make some changes.
Wish me luck!