Jigmi Wangdi

A man died after jumping off the Lungtenzampa bridge in Thimphu yesterday morning. The man was a second-year student in college and was suffering from mental health issues, according to sources.     

An average of 100 Bhutanese lose their lives by committing suicide yearly. According to the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) statistical yearbook, 112 Bhutanese committed suicide in 2022, 100 in 2021, 105 in 2020 and 2019, and 90 in 2018.  

There is an increase in the number of cases. The report shows 59 individuals between the age of 10 to 30 and 53 individuals between the age of 30 to 85 who committed suicide in 2022. 

There is a 1 percent rise in the suicide rate in 2022 compared to 2021.   

A total of 22 people attempted suicide in 2022, 29 in 2021, and 39 people in 2020. 

Cases of suicide are often associated with mental health. According to the Annual Health Bulletin for 2022, common and prevalent mental health disorders in the country are anxiety, depression and mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol and substance abuse.

Between 2017 and 2021, 3,528 individuals were referred to the JDWNRH and National Traditional Medicine Hospital in Thimphu with mental health disorders. Anxiety and depressive disorder were more common in women and mental health disorders owing to alcohol use were more common in males at the time. 

In order to address mental health issues, the Department of Education launched E-counselling and consultation services in July. The service aims to support students as mental health disorders are growing in the country. 

The education ministry also trained 191 principals, 110 counsellors, and 358 focal teachers in some dzongkhags and thromdes to enhance counselling services in schools.

Anyone who needs support can call the PEMA Secretariat hotline at 1010 or 112.