Suicidal behaviour with consequent fatal outcome has become a significant public health problem in India. On average, 9,000 people per year commit suicide in Kerala. Despite the enormity of the problem, there are only a few methodologically sound studies in this area. Currently available data show that suicidal phenomena, which occur in Kerala, are different from western society in a number of ways. Second and third decade seems to be the most susceptible age for Kerala suicides. The predominance of males in suicide reported from western countries is not so significant in Kerala. In Kerala, more than 70% of suicide victims are married. Though emotional disorders play an essential role in suicides, social factors also have an important role in Kerala suicides. Hanging and insecticide poisoning appear to be the favourite methods in Kerala. These observations have high relevance in planning suitable and meaningful suicide prevention strategies in our state. Mental health professionals in Kerala have an important responsibility to develop and implement effective suicide prevention programmes.
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