Why criminalisation of suicide is a bad prevention strategy - Centre's expert Bangkim in the Wire

Prosecution and the imposition of custodial and financial penalties on those with suicidal behaviours constitutes an affront to human dignity. Suicidal behaviour may be a sign of a psychiatric illness or an act of psychological distress, indicating that the person requires assistance in her personal and psychological life, not punishment. As a result of the stigma and the fear of prosecution, many suicides and attempted suicides are reported as accidents to the authorities or are not reported at all. Apart from affecting statistics and the generation of better epidemiological data on suicidality, it pushes the problem underground and impedes the provision of the necessary emotional and mental health support to survivors. If the risk of prosecution is removed, patients and their families will be in a better position to openly seek mental health care and other services after the incident.