WHO said that in 2012 the estimated suicide rate per 1 lakh people in India (15–29 years) was 35.5.
New Delhi: India accounted for the highest suicide rate in young population among 10 Southeast Asian countries. One in four children in the age group of 13-15 years in India suffer from depression, which affects 86 million people in Southeast Asia region, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday.
Releasing the “Mental Health Status of Adolescents in Southeast Asia: Evidence for Action” report, the WHO said that in 2012 the estimated suicide rate per 1 lakh people in India (15–29 years) was 35.5. The estimated suicide rates per 1 lakh people in this age group varied from 3.6 in Indonesia to 25.8 in Nepal, it said.
Ironically, as per the report released on the eve of World Health Day revealed that 25 per cent of boys and 24 per cent of girls in India feel depressed and hopeless everyday. Lonliness and anxiety are reported to be a major issue among girls, with nine per cent of girls could not able to sleep because of being worried and 10 per cent girls as against seven per cent boys feeling lonely most of the time.
Noting that depression can lead to suicide, which is the second highest cause of death among people of age group 15-29 years in the region, WHO’s Southeast Asia regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said depression-related health services must be made more accessible and of higher quality.
With its focus on depression this year, the report found seven per cent adolescents “bullied” and feeling disturbed due to comments of their peers, family members or teachers. Nevetheless 11 per cent girls and boys felt “distracted” and had a hard time staying focused on their work most of times or always.
The report said a “significant” number of students reported low levels of parental engagement, ranging from 15 per cent in Sri Lanka to almost one fifth students in India.
The total population of India was reported at 1,311.1 million, of which, adolescent (13-15 years) population was 75.5 million, which is 5.8 per cent of total population. Of that, 39.8 million were boys and 35.7 million girls.
While, in 62 per cent cases, parents understood the problems and worries of the adolescents while 47 per cent parents checked if the homework of the adolescents was done. Four per cent adolescents used tobacco products while eight per cent used alcohol, the report further added.