Last year, suicide claimed around 20,000 lives in Pakistan, with over 200,000 people attempting it and two million thinking about it.
In this piece for Dawn, 2021 New Voices Fellow, Taha Sabri argues the need for suicide decriminalization. He notes that due to the extreme stigmatization of mental illnesses, seeking help is already perceived as shameful and leads to social repercussions. Criminalization of suicide, he further notes, only makes the process of seeking mental health services more difficult.
Sabri also highlights that decriminalization of suicide can actually allow for more accurate recording and reporting of suicide attempts with families and patients less likely to bribe officials from altering records. He writes, “evidence-based treatments present hope for tackling this epidemic but to provide the appropriate services it is crucial that we have the relevant data.”
To read more on Sabri’s call for suicide decriminalization click below.