Statistics disclosed by the Mumbai Police have revealed that the highest number of suicides over the past few years have taken place in the eastern suburbs with the northern suburbs close behind. The least number of cases were recorded in south Mumbai. While the number of women victims had risen over the past year,the number of men who committed suicide had gone down in 2011.
The police figures also reveal a marginal drop in the number of suicides in the city in the past year.
Data accessed by Newsline revealed that 1,162 suicide cases were registered in the city in 2011 compared to 1,192 in 2010. Of the cases registered in 2011,640 involved men and 522 women. While the number of men who killed themselves went down compared to 2010,the number of women victims increased. Data revealed that 701 men and 491 women had killed themselves in the city in 2010.
Most cases were reported in the suburbs with the eastern and northern region recording the highest. There have been 869 suicide cases in the eastern suburbs from 2009-11,while the northern suburbs have recorded 866 cases in the same time period.
Senior police officers attributed depression as the cause behind majority of suicides. The reason for the high number of suicides in the eastern suburbs could be that the area has a large migrant population,they said. Most of the suicides happen in slum areas,which are in plenty in this region. Since most of the migrants dont have a strong family support in the city,setbacks in life result in depression,which ultimately leads to suicides, said Additional Commissioner of Police (East) Quaiser Khalid.
He said some people who came to the city,often with aspirations of making it big,suffered from depression when faced with setbacks. There is a high level of frustration and at times it drives people to killing themselves.
Khalid also revealed that a recent study showed that the areas living conditions were sub-standard,especially certain pockets in Deonar and Mankhurd areas.
Additional Commissioner of Police (North) Ramrao Pawar said the northern suburbs of the city had a mixed population. There is a balance in this area. There are middle-class people as well as those from below poverty line. Most suicide cases in the area are from the lower-middle class and poor families. From what we have seen,depression is the major factor of suicides in the area, said Pawar.
While the eastern and northern suburbs had the highest number of suicide cases,the south region saw the least. Statistics show that 222 suicide cases were registered in the region from 2009-11. The central and western suburbs of the city,however,recorded 724 suicide cases in the same period respectively.
Leading psychiatrists said while depression was the major cause of suicides, the problem could be checked. Many people with suicidal tendencies have approached me and I have treated them. We first evaluate patients and then decide on treatment after seeing their level of suicide tendencies. While in some cases patients are allowed to stay at home,in extreme cases we have to admit them in hospitals, said Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla,a psychiatrist at the Maseena Hospital and a professor at J J Hospital.
Matcheswalla said a strong family support was needed to fight depression and curb the number of suicides in the city. If the family is strong,a person can tell them how he feels. This helps combat depression. Medications and anti-depressants also help battle the problem, he said.