Twenty-five people have committed suicide and 50 tried to end their lives since the beginning of this year. Sixty per cent of the suicides were driven by depression, followed by family issues (35 per cent) and financial crisis (10 per cent), it was revealed during a dialogue session themed ‘Suicide … Causes and Methods of Prevention’ organised by the Dubai Police.
Suicide rates among youth under the age of 30 were the highest and it was mostly Asians who took the extreme step, it was revealed.
Maj Gen Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, assistant-commander-in-chief of the Criminal Investigation Department, said it was found that most people ended their lives due to depression or family disputes, which force them to take drugs and painkillers. Suicide not only brings grief and sorrow to the bereaved families, but also has an economic cost. He also said that all these incidences can be prevented.
Participating in the session, Al Mansouri said the police were keen to hold meetings and workshops to discuss the causes of suicides and ways to handle them. He said suicide is considered a crime and is forbidden by UAE law. Modern techniques and AI can be used to protect people from external influences, he added.
Al Mansouri stressed the need to combine awareness efforts of all partners who are working in the same direction to end it.
It is important to raise awareness among all members of the community, especially families, about the indicators that may lead one of their loved ones to resort to suicide and help them refrain from committing it, he underlined.
Lt Col Rashid Abdulrahman bin Zabawi, director of the Criminal Investigation Department, said as many as 90 suicides and 101 suicide bids were recorded in Dubai in 2017. The number of suicides registered since the beginning of 2018 was 25, while 50 cases of suicide attempts were detected in this period, he added.
The participants at the session discussed categories most vulnerable to suicides, while forming different groups to come out with recommendations to curb the crime.
The first category was of foreigners. The groups discussed the key reasons that lead expats to suicide, methods of prevention and investment tools to plan ahead and help them.
The participants also discussed issues that trigger depression in workers – the second category. They deliberated on the need to raise awareness among workers about laws, legislations and labour rights.
The third category was that of children and adolescents. Those attending the session brainstormed on the key factors that may lead them this category to commit suicide with emergence of games like Blue Whale, and how best to protect them.
Procedures to deal with the families of victims after the tragedy were also discussed. The role of those related with the victims was taken up too. It was also decided that a special programme must be devised to communicate with the bereaved family and carry out psychological counselling.
Captain Khaled Matar, head of networks and communication devices at Dubai Police, said ‘Blue Whale’ game has been linked to many suicides among adolescents in some countries. While explaining the details of the game, he said it targets players and drives them to inflict injuries on themselves and eventually, take their own life.
Lt Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Dweiyani, head of the Criminal Psychology Department, said ‘Blue Whale’ requires players to provide the game managers personal data about themselves so that they can extort and blackmail them later if the they decide to withdraw from the game, without completing the levels.