Sikkim has dislodged the usual top ranker Kerala as the State with the highest suicide rate in the country, according to Lakshmi Vijayakumar, regional representative of the World Health Organisation on suicide prevention and founder of SNEHA, a non-governmental organisation.
Addressing a Continuing Medical Education programme organised by the Department of Psychiatry, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute (CHRI), Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar said Sikkim, with a suicide rate of 48.2 per lakh of population, and Puducherry, with a rate of 46.9 per lakh, presented a new and worrying trend of an escalation of suicides in smaller States.
She said that Kerala dropped to the fourth position with a suicide rate of 25 per lakh, while the Andaman and Nicobar Islands ranked third with a rate of 34.5 per lakh.
Bangalore led the list among cities, with a rate of 42.1 per lakh, followed by Rajkot (31.5), Jabalpur (24.4) and Vijayawada (23.2).
“The data trends more or less perpetuate the status of southern States having relatively higher suicide rates than the northern States,” she said.
Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar said a national suicide prevention strategy was imperative for India, where an estimated 5 million attempted suicides are carried out every year.