File Photo: Edhi volunteers shifting the dead body of the teenage girl from civil hospital Quetta for burial: Photo provided by Edhi foundation



In Balochistan, the ratio of suicides continues to increase especially among the women segment of society at an alarming level. Statistics shared by a little-known Paank, a non-governmental organization about the alarming increase in the number of suicide cases should be an eye-opener for policymakers.

The organization reports 56 suicide cases most of them women during the last three months in Balochistan. Last year, 80 suicide cases were reported across Balochistan. The cases must be higher than what is being quoted by the NGO since most of the cases go unnoticed in rural Balochistan because of social and tribal taboos.

Mental stress, social-tribal taboos, unemployment and poverty main reasons behind the increasing suicides ratio

Mental stress, social-tribal taboos, unemployment and poverty appeared to be the underlying reasons behind the increasing ratio of suicides. And this phenomenon is not confined to Balochistan rather it is an issue faced by different parts of the globe.

Especially, frequent cases of suicides have been reported on social media from Balochistan’s Mekran division. A growing number of cases in Mekran, which is considered to be the intellectual capital of Balochistan are disturbing.

WHO defines mental health as a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stress of life

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well, and contribute to the community. Mental health is a basic human right, but in the non-urban social setup in Balochistan, mental health issues that include mental disorders, psychosocial disabilities as well as the risk of self-harm, are generally ignored and not given the right level of importance.

In most cases, people commit suicide due to stress and depression to get rid of worldly issues. There have been no proper health institutions to provide counseling to mentally challenged people.

Physiatry institutes should be established on the district level

The health department established a physiatry institute in the Bolan Medical Complex Hospital (BMCH) after the hectic efforts of well-known psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Rasool. However, the institution needs more manpower and facilities to treat mentally ill people.

Such institutes need to be established on district levels to make sure timely medical treatment/counseling of mentally challenged people.

It is ironic of fate that mental disorder/stress is hardly considered an illness in our society. People take it very lightly and easily and prefer to avoid psychiatrists. An awareness program should be launched by the Balochistan government to create awareness among the people about mental disorders and other depression issues.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.