Gilgit-Baltistan’s suicide crisis is spiraling out of control. Since January 2022, 85 people – 50 male and 35 female – have taken their own lives.
These following startling statistics are based on data compiled by the Gilgit-Baltistan Home and Prisons Department.
Contrary to the popular belief, more men and boys are dying by suicide, compared to girls and women.
Most suicides have taken place between the months of April and September, in both recorded years.
It is pertinent to note that due to social stigma not all suicide cases are reported in the media. In many cases, homicides are also propagated as suicides to save the perpetrators.
The Gilgit-Batlsitan government has taken some measures in the last couple of years to make mental health a priority. A helpline has been established to offer support and counseling.
However, the efforts made so far are insufficient and not accessible to large parts of the society. Traditional attitude towards mental health is an impediment also.
Domestic violence, heartbreak, mental healh issues and other setbacks and traumatic experiences are major factors driving people to the brink.