CHENNAI: As suicide emerged as a significant public health concern in the country, the University of Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all the Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) to immediately take action as listed in the "National Suicide Prevention Strategy", which was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently.
The UGC secretary Rajnish Jain said that suicide has emerged as a significant public health concern, both globally and in India.
According to him, suicide is not a single facet phenomenon, the reason behind suicide varies by age, gender, education, and economic status.
Stating that suicide is a tragic loss of life, he said "However, it is encouraging that with the right interventions, suicide is preventable".
Pointing out that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has formulated a "National Suicide Prevention Strategy", which utilizes the guidance established by national and international documents for mental health and suicide prevention, the UGC secretary, in a circular to all the vice-chancellors of universities and principals of all colleges, urged the HEIs to action as listed in the strategy document on priority.
He said that the "National Suicide Prevention Strategy" aims to reduce mortality by 10% in the country by 2030 and this is in comparison to the suicide prevalence in 2020.
Stating that the strategy has been formulated in accordance with WHO's southeast Asia regional strategy on suicide prevention, he said the State government would also play a key role in coordinating efforts with the national and at the ground level. "These efforts would be led by the state health secretary and will be closely supported by the mission director of the National Health mission,” he added.
The state stakeholders would be responsible for mobilising and energising the district-level officials especially to ensure that district heads are dedicated to the cause of suicide prevention.