Psychological Autopsy of the suicide cases will be conducted in Islamkot Taluka of Tharparkar district to ascertain the causes of ending the precious life
This would be just a case study hopefully to be launched after the Holy month of Ramadan – Dr. Karim Khuwaja
Sindh Courier Report
Karachi: Thar Foundation, in collaboration with Sindh Mental Health Authority (SMHA) and other stakeholders, will conduct the Psychological Autopsy of the suicide cases in Islamkot Taluka of Tharparkar district to ascertain the causes of ending the precious life.
This would be just a case study hopefully to be launched after the Holy month of Ramadan.
Dr. Karim Khuwaja, Chairman, SMHA, while speaking in a webinar on ‘How to conduct Psychological Autopsy of Suicide Patients’ on Wednesday hosted by him, said that he has received a letter from Thar Foundation requesting the volunteer technical support for conducting the analytical study of the suicide cases to ascertain the major factors behind committing the suicide.
“Thar Foundation has decided to conduct a study to get a deeper insight into suicide cases reported in Islamkot taluka. Last year some 60 cases were reported in Islamkot taluka. We are planning to undertake a study of identifying root causes behind at least 20 cases. We plan to conduct this study through our 2-member team (one male, one female) of Thar Foundation. We request Sindh Mental Health Authority to provide volunteer technical support,” said the letter from Mr. Naseer Memon, General Manager, CSR, Public Affairs & Communications, Sindh Coal Engro Mining Company (SECMC), read by Dr. Karim Khuwaja.
The technical support sought by Thar Foundation includes developing the research methodology (sampling etc.), developing field questionnaire, training of staff on interview technique on this sensitive matter and reporting framework, he told.
Dr. Karim Khuwaja said that SMHA, with the help of Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences Jamshoro (LUMHS), Sir Cowsjee Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad and some other institutions, will fully support this cause.
“The psychological autopsy of the suicide patient is just like the story when a child is born till he or she commits suicide. During the case study, the interviews of siblings, parents and friends will be conducted besides collecting the medical history, psychiatric history, financial problems, hardships etc.” he said adding that interview of colleagues, family members and any collection of information regarding physical or other illness of deceased up till committing the suicide by him or her will help to know what are factors of suicide.
“In the light of findings of study, the government can frame the policies, which will surely leave a positive impact and decrease or finish the trend of committing the suicide in the society,” Dr. Karim said.
He told that training will be given to different people in Thar which will be conducted with the help of law department, Deputy Commissioner and SP as certainly there would be legal implications.
“The family of the victim will have to be explained why we are doing this and the name of the person (he or she) will be kept secret. Hopefully we will be starting the study after Ramadan and for that homework regarding the study, training and other things will be finalized in Ramzan,” he said.
Dr. Murad Musa Khan of Aga Khan University, who himself had conducted Psychological Autopsy of suicide cases in Karachi, gave a detailed presentation on how to conduct the Psychological Autopsy. According to him some 150 such studies have been conducted around the world of which except 25, all were carried out in Europe. “In Pakistan only two such studies were conducted including one by me,” Dr. Murad Musa told.
He said that no specific study has been carried out on annual suicide cases however the approximate figure is said to be 13000 to 14000 cases per year. “Attempt to suicide cases are said to be 130000 to 300000 per year while 1.3 to 1.4 million people are said to have such thoughts,” he said in his presentation.
Some 36 people participated in the webinar including Professor Brigadier Mujadid Rana, Professor Iqbal Afridi, Ms. Rubina Qadwai, Prof Haider Naqvi and Ali Wasif Painter.