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Low cost measures should be used to tackle high suicide rate in India

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e6875 (Published 11 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6875
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

A leading global mental health expert has called for urgent action to reduce suicide rates in India, which are among the highest in the world.

Vikram Patel, professor of international mental health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said suicide rates could be reduced by “relatively low cost” measures such as providing better care for people with depression and restricting access to pesticides, the ingestion of which is a common method of suicide.

Patel said there was a “hidden epidemic” of suicides among young people in India. “Completed suicides are just the tip of the iceberg. Most suicide attempts are simply unreported,” he said.

The suicide rate among Indian women, aged 15 years or older, is more …

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