The recent article published by The Bhutanese on the high suicide rates in Bhutan is quite shocking and pitiful. Bhutan stands at 21 out of 110 countries in a 2011 WHO global ranking on suicide rates. When Bhutan is known to the outside world as a land of happiness, the Last Shangrilains are supposed to be happy in all aspects of life. It is not the case as per the WHO figures. The Suicide rate of Bhutan is at 16.2 per 100,000 of population. An independent survey carried out by the paper also found that the suicide rate was increasing every year. It reports of 92 suicide cases in 2013, a jump from 65 in 2012. The "I Quitters" are mostly in the range of 18-25 years of age.
Back home, everyone knows that the suicide rate is on an increasing trend but no significant measures have really taken place to combat this issue. What makes a youth with full of promises and aspirations suddenly decide and say "I quit"? Is it the strict disciplinary actions in schools? Is it because of family issues? Is it because of unemployment? or is it because of other reasons?. There are endless questions that one may need to ask and ultimately thrash out the root cause which is slowly creeping into our society. GNH and high suicide rate is quite a contradiction.
I would not even dare to give up on life no matter even if the sky falls down. Buddhist precept is strict on committing suicides and as a Buddhist we are made to believe that one will be condemned to commit suicide for a thousand life time if one commits it now. I only wish that this concept gets ingrained in every human mind and work to walk through the problem instead of simply giving up on life.