The Director of Vavuniyaa General Hospital Dr K. Akilendran has urged public awareness and education against increasing depression and suicidal thoughts in the society citing the alarming rate of suicides registered by Vavuniyaa hospital in 2017 and the first two months of 2018. The suicide tendency is higher among war-affected families that are affected by trauma over several years. Most of the victims are between 12 and 45 years, he said. The hospital has registered 393 attempted suicides throughout 2017. There have been 35 cases for treatment within the first two months in 2018 at Vavuniyaa hospital.
Increasing suicidal rate indicates that social structures are breaking down, he said.
The main underlying reason seems to be trauma among the war-affected families. The tendency for suicidal thought was high among the families of enforced disappeared and those who had lost their breadwinners in their family in the war and those who are struggling with permanent physical injuries that cause distress.
The victims find it difficult to find people, even among those who are close to them to share their grief, sufferings and their concerns. The society needs to find ways to safeguard the people who are exposed to isolation, he said.
The Director of Vavuniyaa hospital added that the TV serials featuring suicidal situations were also making an impact in the minds of young people. When the youngsters suddenly face overwhelmingly distressing problems, this thought comes to the forefront. Therefore, we need to work with the students as well, he said.
Vavuniyaa hospital has taken an initiative to individually follow-up each case under the guidance of a psychological counselling expert in the hospital.
He was urging awareness initiatives from the larger society.