KP forms committee to probe rising suicide rate in Chitral

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high contrast image of a hangman's noose

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) health department has decided to probe the rising suicide rate in Chitral by forming a committee. This development comes after another unmarried woman hanged herself from a ceiling fan in Faizabad late night on August 28.

According to the provincial health department, the district health officer (DHO) of Chitral wrote to them regarding the growing number of suicide cases in the region.

The committee has been tasked to “see the main factors involved and psychotherapy of other[s] with suicidal tendencies”. The committee will include Dr Azmatullah, chairperson, and the Chitral district health officer as well as two deputy directors of the psych-social programme of Peshawar.

45 suicide cases have been reported in Chitral in 2018, 20 of which occurred in the last three months. In August, five students attempted suicide after receiving their exam results.

On August 10, a student identified as Farid Ahmed shot himself at his residence in Zargarandeh area of Chitral over ‘unsatisfactory result in the intermediate examinations’.

One girl hailing from Chitral’s Reech area, who was described by her family members to have been a very bright and studious girl, had jumped into the Chitral river after receiving what she perceived to be a “low score” in her intermediate examination.

Her parents in their statement to the police said that they noticed her unusually quiet and withdrawn behaviour before she went missing.

Police had conducted an investigation into her disappearance which led to the discovery that she had flung herself into the river. Her body was later recovered by rescue officials.

Similarly, another girl from the Garam Chashma area had jumped into the river after obtaining her intermediate exam result.

In another shocking incident in Chitral’s Lot Koh valley, a boy had attempted to kill himself with a gun after receiving word from a friend that he had failed in one subject in his intermediate exams while his brother managed to clear them all.

Feeling depressed at the news, the boy had placed a gun under his chin and shot himself. He miraculously survived the incident and was rushed to the hospital for medical attention.

 A study published in 2016 in Khyber Medical University Journal revealed that women had almost double the rate of suicide than men in Chitral. As per the findings, prominent causes include family and marital issues while the methods used included drowning and hanging.