For the first time in Pakistan a psychological autopsy is being performed, which will help in preventing suicides in Tharparkar
By GR Junejo
Mithi: Psychiatric Autopsy of suicide cases in Desert District Tharparkar kicked off Thursday with the technical support of the country’s top Psychiatrists and Psychiatry Organizations.
For the first time in Pakistan, a program has been launched by Sindh Mental Health Authority (SMHA) to conduct a psychiatric autopsy of suicide cases in Tharparkar occurred from the year 2016 to 2020 and recommendations shall be made based on the results. Thar Foundation is providing financial support for the program, whereas Pakistan’s renowned psychologists, Sindh government, health department, district government, universities, and hospitals providing technical support for the program.
An inaugural ceremony was held at Deputy Commissioner Office Mithi and attended by the Chairman of Sindh Mental Health Authority, Senator Dr. Karim Khawaja, DC Tharparkar Muhammad Nawaz Soho, PPP Senator Engineer Gyanchand, Liaquat Medical University Vice-Chancellor Dr. Bekha Ram, Dr. Prof. Syed Haider Raza Naqvi of Dow University, Karachi, Mohsin Babbar of Thar Foundation, District Health Officer Dr. Gordhan Das and others.
Addressing the meeting, Chairman SMHA, Senator Dr. Karim Khawaja said that SMHA was formed after the approval of the Sindh Cabinet. “Sindh feels proud that for the first time a mechanism was created with 5 years of data and The Thar Foundation providing support for the psychological autopsy program in Tharparkar”, he said.
“The results of the psychiatric autopsy will be made available in a few months, which will reveal the real reasons for suicide cases”, he said adding that no such study has been conducted in South Asia, including Pakistan, which is being conducted under Thar TeleHelp program.
DC Tharparkar Muhammad Nawaz Soho said that there has been an increase in suicide cases in some communities of Tharparkar, while in some groups of minorities, the statistics are alarming. Social problems, dislikes, early marriages, domestic problems are also behind the suicide cases. The district administration of Tharparkar will extend full cooperation in this regard, he added.
Mohsin Babbar of Thar Foundation said with the support of the District Health Office, they have identified 125 mental health patients under the Thar Telehelp project so far in different talukas of district Tharprakar. “The identified patients are being treated by top psychiatrists in person and through online consultations and free medicines are also being provided,” he added.
Senator Engineer Gyanchand said that suicides occur because of social injustice and hopelessness, and we all have a responsibility to take steps to address the increasing trend and its reasons.
Dr. Bekharam of LUMHS said that for the first time in Pakistan a psychological autopsy is being performed, which will help in preventing suicides in Tharparkar.
Prof. Syed Haider Raza Naqvi of Dow University said suicide occurs where there is despair and sadness. During psychological stress, he said a person mentions some relative or friend, but his words are not heeded. Therefore, he added, awareness must be given in the society to help such people.