Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai on Tuesday said that the government has not conducted any research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicides in India. Nityanand Rai raised the question in Lok Sabha and said that the National Crime Records Bureau compiles and publishes information on suicides in its publication, Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI). However, the published reports of suicides are available till the year 2019 only, informed Rai. Hence, no further study to assess the number of suicides due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been conducted by the government.
Rai said in a written reply to Lok Sabha, "The Government has not conducted any study to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on suicides in the country. However, realising the impact that COVID-19 may have on the mental health of the people, the government has taken a number of initiatives to provide psychosocial support during COVID-19."
Further, Rai counted on the initiatives taken by the government to provide psychosocial support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nityanand Rai said that these initiatives include setting up a 24/7 helpline to provide psychosocial support by mental health professionals to the entire affected population, divided into different target groups like children, adults, elderly, women, and healthcare workers.
In addition, the initiatives include the issuance of guidelines on the management of mental health issues, catering to different segments of society, and advocacy through various media platforms in the form of creative and audio-visual materials on managing stress and anxiety. Moreover, the government also created an environment of support and care for its citizens.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested healthy ways to cope up with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Take a look at the points below: