KARACHI: In a recent report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the suicide rate in Pakistan has crossed eight per cent raising concerns among the mental health experts in the country. According to the report, a mental health institution organised a seminar in Karachi on Saturday as one out of 200 people attempting suicide died in the South-Asian country, the Express Tribune reported citing the report.
In order to create awareness of this alarming issue, the event featured insightful discussions on mental health awareness and the treatment of depression and other mental disorders responsible for suicide. Several experts expressed their concern over the upsurge in the suicide rate in Pakistan during the event as they said that treating suicide as a crime is a tragedy and it is unfortunate that many incidents of suicide go unreported, according to the Express Tribune.
"The suicide rate in Pakistan has crossed the eight per cent mark and it is alarming," the experts added quoting the WHO report. Meanwhile, there has been an alarming rise in cases of suicide among the youth in Gilgit Baltistan recently.
During the first six months of this year, as many as 15 cases of suicide were reported while over 222 people took their own life during the past five years, according to the Dawn newspaper. The exact causes of these suicide cases are not yet known, however, some researchers and experts said that the main cause behind rising cases of suicide was the unnerving pace of social change and mental disorders.
Experts further said that many suicide cases go unreported across GB as many incidents of suicide were wrongly treated as murder or accidents. "19 suicide cases -- nine of them males and 10 females -- were reported this year, but investigations revealed that four out of the 19 individuals were, in fact, murdered," said the Senior Superintendent of Police of Ghizer district of Gilgit, Shahmeer Khalid.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (Crime) of Gilgit division, Farman Ali said that even after so many deaths, neither the government nor social welfare organisations have woken up to the enormity of the matter. "Many cases went unreported due to social taboos, but police investigations threw a different light in a number of instances. Several cases in Ghizer which were initially declared suicide turned out to be homicide or murder," Farman Ali said. But he regretted that cases were not being investigated thoroughly. Even postmortem was not enough."
He told that there are no facilities to treat mental disorders and depression in Gilgit-Baltistan. "Even well-equipped forensic labs are hard to find in the region. The government, as well as the public at large, needs to wake up from a state of denial." the Dawn newspaper quoted the DIG.