New Delhi: The Indian Army has reported more than 250 suicides in the last three years, followed by Air Force which has reported 56 cases. The Navy has reported 19 cases in the same period, the Lok Sabha was informed Wednesday.
Giving details to the House, the Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre, informed that 104 cases of suspected suicide were reported in the Army in 2016, 75 in 2017, and 80 in 2018. Besides, four cases of suspected fratricide were reported during the same period.
In the Air Force, 19 cases of suspected suicides were reported in 2016, 21 in 2017, 16 in 2018. One case of suspected fratricide was reported in 2016 in the force.
The Navy witnessed six suspected cases of suicide in 2016, five in 2017, and eight in 2018, the data tabled by the minister said.
The minister said that various steps have been taken by the Armed Forces to create healthy and favourable environment for officers and other ranks. These include provision of better clothing, food, married accommodation, travel facilities, schooling, recreation and periodic welfare meeting.
Introduction of yoga and meditation as a tool for stress management, training and deployment of psychological counsellors, and institutionalization of projects ‘MILAP’ and ‘SAHYOG’ by Army in Northern and Eastern Command to reduce stress among troops are the other initiatives taken to reduce stress.
The minister added that a ‘Mansik Sahayata Helpline’ has been established by Army and Air Force to take professional counselling.
Mental health awareness is provided during pre-induction training, and Military Psychiatry Treatment Centre has been established at INHSAsvini and mental health centres in Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Port Blair, Goa and Karwar.