Mongar dzongkhag recorded 10 suicide cases in the last one and a half years.

Records with police show that the youngest was a 15-year-old student and the oldest was a 72-year-old man. Except for the student, most of those who committed suicides were farmers.

Depression, alcohol, poverty, and family issues were cited as causes for them taking their own lives, according to health officials.

It was learnt that while a man from Drepong gewog allegedly committed suicide in February this year because of a mental health problem, the 72-year-old man from Chali gewog allegedly took his own life in March this year because there was no one to look after him.

The 15-year-old student from Thangrong gewog is alleged to have committed suicide following a strained relationship with a boy in April last year. Her parents were divorced.

An 18-year-old girl from Sarpang also took her life in Mongar when she allegedly could not clear a debt of Nu 10,000 to 20,000. A 53-year-old woman from Thangrong gewog is said to have committed suicide in March this year because of alcohol. It was learnt that she attempted suicide thrice.

In July this year, a 63-year-old man allegedly took his own life after his two wives had a misunderstanding and the matter was taken to court.

The dzongkhag health deputy chief officer, Tshering Dorji, said they have formed a committee to prevent suicides in the dzongkhag.

On September 10, dzongkhag officials organised a daylong awareness programme on preventive measures of suicide with the public of Drepong, as there were more reported suicides cases from the gewog.

Officials conducted advocacy programmes on causes, signs, symptoms and preventive measure of suicide from both religious and health aspects.

The dzongkhag’s senior health officer, Deki Phuntsho, said there was one suicide case reported from Drepong this year and two cases reported last year. “There were also reports of few suicide attempted cases.”

She said there are several reported cases of domestic violence and alcohol related issues from the gewog. “We observed the day here with the hope to prevent such issues in future.”

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar