Every month, around 7 people die in Bhutan by committing suicide. This was revealed in the three-year action plan (from July 2015 to June 2018) for preventing suicides in Bhutan.
Putting in place such a national suicide prevention programme may have documented the reported suicide cases in the country, but it appears to have not achieved much in understanding the reasons why people take their own lives.
Still someone dies every week in Bhutan reportedly by committing suicide.
The cause of suicide for more than 60 per cent of the reported cases was described as “unknown”, stated an editorial published on Tuesday by Kuensel.
The editorial also claims that listing unknown and other factors for suicides and accidents has become routine in the reporting mechanisms of the country.
How such reasons help craft policies and interventions so remain unknown, it questioned.
“While every life lost is one too many, a worrying trend we are witnessing is the increasing cases of suicide among farmers. The last two GNH surveys found that farmers, the biggest occupational group in the country, are the least happy. Except during elections, agriculture and farmers remain neglected. Suicides may be a manifestation of distress our farming community is subjected to,” the editorial said.
The recent Gross National Happiness (GNH) survey also found that about five per cent of the population considered committing suicide and 20 per cent of those attempted to take their own lives.
The editorial claimed that a review of the reported cases in 2016 and 2017 show that after “unknown”, social problems and psychological reasons were cited as the causes of reported suicide.
“That farmers, the employed and students top the list of those committing suicides annually show that efforts, if any, to enhance the wellbeing of these occupational groups have fallen sorely short,” the editorial said.
Suicide has also been detected as one of the six causes of death in Bhutan which made it an issue of national concern demanding serious collective action.
The last government tried to address this growing public health concern. It is expected that the new government will also make efforts to address issues troubling the vulnerable groups.