Ramallah: Independent Commission for Human Right’s (ICHR) figures show six suicides in Gaza since the beginning of this year whereas five Gazans took their lives in the entire 2015. The commission urged the situation in Gaza be addressed by the entire society which must establish a national mental health committee to tackle the suicides.
The ICHR said there is a sharp increase in the rate of suicide attempts, too.
The ICHR’s experts said unemployment has a complex relationship with suicide rates where the situation in the coastal strip is a perfect manifestation of this. “Our findings reveal that the suicide rate increased since the beginning of the year before the rise in unemployment. Suicide cases have risen directly due to negative social, political and economic conditions prevailing in the strip,” said the ICHR in a statement during a conference which the commission held on Wednesday to draw the attention of the ruling Hamas government, the institutions of the civil society and experts of the metal health to the phenomenal increase in the suicide rate in the strip.
“The death of hope for the vast majority of the Gazans, who are not immune to mental disorders, makes the main reason for dying by suicides and the risk is usually higher among the poor Gazans.”
Gaza is blockaded by an Egyptian-Israeli siege under which severe restrictions are placed on the movement of people and goods in and out of the territory.
The commission said while suicide is a solitary act, the causes have significant links to various social and economic factors which should be addressed, analysed, and handled. “This is all about learning lessons from the financial and social crisis,” said the ICHR. The experts said that learning more about what might lead a human to suicide may help prevent further tragedies. Finding new mechanisms to curb high divorce rates, spinsterhood, drug addiction, and robbery might help reduce suicide rates in Gaza.
The experts said the Gaza officials should embrace preservation of human dignity as a clinical goal, adding that depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses in the coastal strip should no more depend on the stage of diagnosis and move from that stage to the solution-finding stage (mental illness recovery stages).