Sikkim opens crisis centre for suicide prevention

Gangtok, July 4 (IANS) In its bid to address the high suicide rates in the state, the Sikkim government on Saturday launched a 24X7 crisis centre-cum-suicide prevention helpline at STNM Hospital here.

The facility is a collaborative effort of the departments of health, human services and family welfare under the District Mental Programme initiative.

The helpline -18003453225 – was inaugurated by Health Care, Human Services and Family Welfare Minister A.K. Ghatani.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Sikkim in 2012 recorded the highest rate in the country at 29.1 suicides per one lakh population. Altogether 181 people, including 85 females, had committed suicide in Sikkim in 2012.

Ghatani said the health department along with STNM Hospital has taken the initiative of starting a special clinic for clients undergoing depression treatment at the medical facility.

He said the idea of running a Depression Specialty Clinic was a conscious effort not only at extending services but also to mitigate the stigma that is attached to mental illness.

The minister also administered a pledge on no tobacco and drug abuse and urged the people to coordinate and cooperate for sensitising other people about mental illness and its cure.

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