Bangladesh has recorded 70 percent more deaths from suicide than from the Covid-19 in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 8,462 people died from Covid-19 in the 365 days after the first coronavirus cases were detected in the country on March 8. In contrast, data from newspapers, police and hospitals collected by Aanchal Foundation found that 14,436 people committed suicide over the same period.
Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) in February announced that deaths from suicide in the country had overtaken the number of coronavirus deaths.
On average, 10,000 people commit suicide in Bangladesh every year, according to BBS. Aanchal Foundation analyzed 332 cases regarding the reasons behind increase in suicides.
Family problems, accounting for 35 percent of deaths, appear to be the leading cause of suicide, followed relationship stress (24 percent), financial problems (4percent), and educational reasons (1percent). The reasons for committing suicide could not be determined for 32 percent of the cases.
Almost half of the deceased were aged 20-35 years old, while 35%, were aged 5-19, and 16% were aged 36-80.
Mental health expert Azharul Islam said depression is a driver for many suicides, and it is possible to prevent them through regular counselling and good mental health practices.
Tansen Rose, founder of the Aanchal Foundation, said suicide attempts are increasing among the youth at an alarming rate, and it is essential to ensure the presence of competent professional psychiatrists at educational institutions.
“We need to keep in mind that no matter how trivial the reasons for suicide may seem to us, it is a big deal for a person prone to committing suicide. Therefore, it is the responsibility and duty of everyone, including the state, to ensure an environment for the survival for every citizen by giving importance to mental health,” he added.