On 10th September, KOSHISH in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Population Gandaki organized Provincial level consultation among high-level stakeholders for Suicide Prevention to mark World Suicide Prevention Day at Teeka Resort, Pokhara.
The event was chaired by Hon’ble Chief Ministry of Gandaki Province Mr. Krishna Chandra Nepali Pokharel. Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Technology and Social Development Hon’ble Mekh Lal Shrestha, Ministry of Health and Population Hon’ble Madhu Adhikari Gurung, and Vice-Chairperson of Planning and Policy Commission Hon’ble Raghu Raj Kafley graced the event.
A total of 50 attendees representing various Ministries, Gandaki Police Office, Advocates, Press, and like-minded organized placed their views, opinions and generated a way forward for suicide prevention in Gandaki province.
Mr. Binod Bindu Kunwar, Secretary of MOHP presented on Mental health, data on suicide, and existing policy and programs. He shared the national laws and policies including the target set by SDG for suicide prevention. Additionally, in the presentation, he made the remarks that for the functional mechanisms of mental health, there is a need for proper human resource management at all levels.
DSP Min Bdr. Ghale, Gandaki State Police presented the 3 years suicide rate, its means, and also explained insights of the vulnerable groups in terms of (age, sex, regional and religion) who are more prone to suicidal ideation.
Mr. Matrika Pd. Devkota, Executive Director, KOSHISH presented on the importance of Suicide Prevention and how it should be integrated into government plans and policies. As a suicide survivor himself, he also raised the issue of stigma associated with suicide. He said that the issue of mental health is not only associated with health. It is also a cross-cutting issue and for mental health prevention and promotion, there is a need for multisectoral collaboration and coordination.
In the closing remarks, Honorable Chief Ministry of Gandaki Province Mr. Krishna Chandra Nepali Pokharel made the commitment that suicide prevention policies will be highly prioritized at Gandaki province’s plans and programs. Furthermore, the Office of Chief Ministries and Council of Ministry will work its best to reduce the rate of suicide, as for now the rate of suicide in Gandaki province is skyrocketing.
“Gandaki province government is committed to take concrete steps for the promotion of psychosocial wellbeing and prevention and reduce the number of suicides. The multi-sectoral action plan for suicide reduction should be decided and implemented immediately with the cooperation of all.” -Gandaki Chief Minister Krishnachandra Nepali Pokharel
Honorable Madhu Adhikari Gurung also made the remarks that MOHP will fully support the action plan on mental health, and thus request KOSHIHS to provide technical support for this process.
Honorable Mek Lal Shrestha, calls for Public-Private Partnership as the issue of suicide and its prevention cannot be solved by the government itself. Thus, there lies a bigger space for all the stakeholders to promote the issue of suicide prevention from all levels.
Honorable Dr. Raghu Raj Kafley, Planning Commission, Vice President said as we are in the process of formulating the Health Policy, we had realized the importance of suicide prevention to be integrated into the policy. Planning Commission will further work to promote the issue of mental -health and suicide prevention by integrating it in the policy level.