Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Legal and Health services collaborate to arrest suicide rate

GANGTOK, 25 Aug [IPR]: Three-day Training of Trainers on Mental Health & Suicide Prevention commenced here at the training hall of Sikkim Judicial Academy today. The programme has been organized by Sikkim State Legal Services Authority (SSLSA) in coordination with the Department of Health Care, Human Service & Family Welfare, Govt. of Sikkim.
Speaking at the inaugural function held in the Auditorium of High Court of Sikkim, Chief Justice, High Court of Sikkim & Patron-in-Chief, Sikkim SLSA, NK Jain, applauded the joint initiative undertaken  by  SSLSA and Health Department to reduce suicide rate in Sikkim.
Right to Health is also a fundamental right and the time has come to do research on suicide which has become a serious issue in the state, he added. He also mentioned exemplary achievement of Kerala in reducing suicide rate and stressed on massive awareness and controlling measures to be taken up in Sikkim.
Justice SP Wangdi, Judge, High Court of Sikkim & Executive Chairman, Sikkim SLSA/ Member, Central Authority, NALSA informed that the trainees of Para Legal Volunteers and Penal Advocates will undertake research to find the causes of suicide and preventive measures will be taken in proper coordination with health department after compiling data and information collected by trainees.
He further said that the enlightened trainees will impart information on suicide control at the series of awareness programme to be organized at schools, colleges and other places in order to sensitize students, youths and entire section of society.
Addressing the gathering,  Minister,  Health Care, Human Service & Family Welfare & IPR, AK Ghatani urged all the NGOs, civil society, religious organizations and heads of educational institutions to contribute effectively and whole-heartedly to make a difference in the number of lives tragically lost due to suicide every year.
Applauding the training programme, Mr. Ghatani stated that it is important for every section of the society to work collectively to decrease suicide rate in the state. He further appealed to citizens to be more committed and determined to address the issue of suicide prevention.
He also suggested to include lawyers, teachers, community leaders, social representatives and health workers in the group trainees. Emphasizing on mental health he said, mental health is not about absence of mental illness, it is all about how you think, feel and behave. People get imbalanced in their thinking, feeling and behaviour which leads to mental illness. The Minister further urged the participants to contribute significantly in state wide suicide controlling measures.
Director General-cum-Secretary, Health Deptt, Dr. K Bhandari enlightened the gathering about the cause of suicide and further mentioned that drug abuse and depression are two important causes of suicide in Sikkim. He stressed on need of detection of depression for treatment, which may control suicide rate and further expressed hope that such training programmes would help change the mental health scenario in Sikkim.
As per the latest report published by National Crime Report Bureau, Sikkim has the highest suicide rate [32 per lakh] followed by Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The national average suicide rate is 11.2.
It is informed that Dr. CS Sharma, Dr. CL Pradhan, NC Chankapa and Chung Chung Bhutia are the resource persons for the training programme. The programme was also attended by Secretary from department of Building & Housing, Food & Civil Supplies, senior officials from health department, Advocates, PLVs, students and staff.
The programme began with the welcome address presented by KW Bhutia [District & Session Judge] and vote of thanks was proposed by Bikash Sharma [US, Sikkim SLSA].

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