Georgia: 207 Suicides in Six Months

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day on October 10, the Public Defender Nino Lomjaria presented suicide statistics to the press, reporting that in the first six months of 2019, there have been 219 suicide attempts, 207 of them fatal. In 2018, the attempted number was 477, and 389 people took their own life.  

The Public Defender spoke about the lack of awareness of mental health and the taboo in the society.  She named the following as the major challenges: identification and proper management of mental and behavioral disorders caused by the use of various psychoactive substances; inadequate infrastructure and living conditions in most of the inpatient psychiatric institutions; problems with access to somatic health services. 

“Mental healthcare is a problematic issue in Georgia. Despite the government’s acknowledgment of the need for an approved suicide prevention program, Georgia still does not have it," she reported Lomjaia. The Public Defender added that often psychotropic drugs trigger mental problems and illnesses.

“We have been demanding a transition to community-based services for a long time. Unfortunately, we have services intended for long-term inpatient treatment in Georgia, where patients spend their entire life. They do not have enough skills to live independently, they cannot leave institutions and their families refuse to take them back. It is difficult to identify mental and health problems at an early stage and to treat them. Only 37% of patients were involved in treatment after hospitalization last year. This is a field that receives too little attention from the state,” claimed Lomjaria, urging the state to take the needed action.

This year’s focus of the World Mental Health Day was suicide prevention. The World Mental Health Day has been marked since 1992. It aims to raise public awareness of mental health issues, encouraging and mobilizing supportive activities and programs.

By Nini Dakhundaridze
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11 October 2019 15:10