Of the total 1,33,623 suicide deaths in India in 2015, as compared to 1,08,593 in 2000, over 33% (44,593 deaths) were in the age group of 30-45, while the 18-30 age group accounted for 32.81% (43,852) deaths. The two age groups together (18-45 years) accounted for more than 66% of suicides in 2015.
Children below 14 and those in the 14-18 age group accounted for nearly 1% and 6%, respectively, of the total suicides in 2015. Around 19% of the total suicides were by people in the age group of 45-60 years and those above 60 years accounted for 7.77% deaths.
In 2005 and 2010, suicides increased to 1,13,914 and 1,34,599, respectively. Data shows suicide deaths were higher among men. As many as 91,528 committed suicide in 2015, as against 66,032 in 2005 and 87,180 in 2010. Among women, the number of suicides increased marginally during 2000-2015.
The average life expectancy in India is 68.35 years.
Experts say socio-cultural issues, discrimination, and competition for highly paid jobs are the most common reasons for suicide among youth. Compounding the problem is a system that barely recognises mental health issues, they say.
India has recently put in place a mental health policy to focus on creating awareness and infrastructure to address such problems.
According to the WHO’s Mental Health Atlas 2017, very few countries have suicide prevention strategies despite an estimated 8,00,000 such cases being reported every year. The report highlighted a global shortage of personnel trained in mental health issues and lack of investment in community-based mental health facilities.
Beside deaths, a large number of people suffered non-fatal injuries, including disability, the NHP report prepared by Central Bureau of Health Intelligence said.