The National Crime Records Bureau statistics reveal that Sikkim in 2012 recorded the highest rate of suicides in the country at 29.1 per one lakh population. Altogether 181 people, including 85 females, committed suicide in Sikkim in 2012. In its bid to address the high suicide rates in the state, the Sikkim government on Saturday, July 4, 2015, launched a 24X7 crisis center-cum-suicide prevention helpline (18003453225) at STNM Hospital.
This facility is a collaborative effort of the departments of health, human services and family welfare under the District Mental Program initiative. The helpline was inaugurated by Health Care, Human Services and Family Welfare Minister A.K. Ghatani.
Ghatani said, "The health department along with STNM Hospital has taken the initiative of starting a special clinic for clients undergoing depression treatment at the medical facility. The idea of running a Depression Specialty Clinic was a conscious effort not only at extending services but also to mitigate the stigma that is attached to mental illness."
Ghatani also administered a pledge on no tobacco and drug abuse and urged the people to co-ordinate and co-operate for sensitizing other people about mental illness and its cure.