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‘Education, media involvement key to preventing suicides’

LAHORE: Educational programmes, the involvement of the media and promoting the traditional support system are essential to bring down the suicide rate in the country, professor of Psychiatry at the Jinnah Hospital, Dr Saad, said in a seminar on Wednesday.

Mind, a non-government organisation, organised a seminar on ‘working towards the promotion of mental health’ in a local club.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Saad said, “When someone commits suicide, it is not just a failure of the government, but reflects the apathy of an entire society.”

He said that in Pakistan, the suicide rate is higher among youth below 35 years of age and “most of them come from the middle class”, adding that people have lost hope due to terrorism. “Once life was associated with Islam… now death is related to the religion,” he added.

Renowned TV anchor Abdul Rauf said the fabric of our society had been shattered and “we need helping hands”. He said that at the current growth rate of three percent, the country cannot create 3 million new jobs every year that are required for sustained economic growth. Writer Asghar Nadeem Syed said India had a higher rate of poverty compared with Pakistan, but “democracy, films and liquor” have helped reduce the suicide rate in India. He said loneliness and poverty are major causes of suicide in the country.

The discussion was followed by an interactive session, in which the audience highlighted different aspects of the problem and proposed solutions. People demanded effective social networking and a better value system to reduce the suicide rate in the country.

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