Suicides up, Himachal to check Covid affect

Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, November 18

Concerned over a spike in suicides, the Himachal Pradesh State Mental Health Authority is conducting a survey to assess the psychological impact of pandemic on people.

The survey is being conducted in collaboration with the Department of Psychology, Himachal Pradesh University, in Shimla, Mandi and Chamba districts with a sample size of 75,000 (25,000 each). It would be completed in 21 days.

On an average, nearly 700 suicides are reported in the state every year. There has been a spurt in such cases during the pandemic with 302 suicides reported in just three months (May-July).

Dr Sanjay Pathak, CEO, Mental Health Authority, said a questionnaire comprising nine questions would be sent to residents on their mobile phones and the response would be kept confidential. The study would be used to plan and implement strategies to tackle mental health problems.

The sample has been classified into three age groups — up to 25 years, 25-60 and above 60.

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