‘Suicide in India: a complex public health tragedy in need of a plan’

Dr Gregory Armstrong, a Senior Research Fellow with the Nossal Institute for Global Health, was recently invited to write an article for Lancet Public Health on suicide in India, which he titled ‘Suicide in India: a complex public health tragedy in need of a plan’.

Suicide is a major and often neglected global health problem, with far reaching socioeconomic, political and emotional consequences. Worldwide, there are an estimated 800,000 suicide deaths each year, and suicide is typically the leading cause of death for people aged 15-44 years.

India accounts for an estimated 230,000 of these suicide deaths at a rate of 17.9 suicide per 100,000 population (compared to the global average of 11.4/100,000).

Such sobering figures ought to be galvanising, yet coordination at the national level has been slow.

In this commentary, co-authored by Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar, the founder of India’s first suicide prevention centre in Chennai (Sneha), Dr Armstrong discusses the need for national, regional and community-level suicide prevention planning in India. He draws on findings from the Global Burden of Disease study in India to highlight several strategic issues to be captured in the suicide prevention planning process.

Click on the link below to read this open-access article:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30142-7/fulltext

Biopic, Gregory Armstrong

Dr Armstrong currently holds an Early Career Fellowship with the National Health and Medical Research Council focused on suicide prevention, with a special interest in low and middle-income countries and culturally diverse groups in Australia.

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Gregory Armstrong