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Teens in Southern India
Have the World's Highest Suicide Rates

Teens in Southern India
Have the World's Highest Suicide Rates

by Kevin Caruso

The average global suicide rate is 14.5 deaths per 100,000 people, with suicide being the 4th leading cause of death in the 15-19 age group.

A study published in the British medical journal The Lancet indicates that the suicide rate in the 15-19 group living around Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India, was 148 per 100,000 for women, and 58 per 100,000 for men.

What stood out in the data was that not only were the rates extremely high, but that rates for young women were almost three times higher than rates for young men. This is the opposite of global rates, in which men are three times higher than those for women.

Suicide deaths accounted for between 50 to 75 percent of all deaths in young women in the 15-19 age group.

The two most common methods for females were hanging and poisoning by insecticide.

The third most common method for females was one that is not seen frequently outside of India, and that is of self-immolation, or burning oneself to death in a fire. This method is common for females but rare for men.

Contributing factors for the high levels of suicides for young females includes untreated mental illness, domestic violence, and conflicts over dowries.

Clearly, this disturbing data points to an urgent need for suicide prevention programs, better assessment and treatment of mental disorders, and better treatment of women in India.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.

Thank you.

I love you.

Take care,

Kevin Caruso

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