20-26 March 2015 #750

Suicides in the US

Umakanta Rimal in BBC Nepali, 17 March

Madan Kandel and Bal Bahadur Khulal, were among the 81,000 refugees from Bhutan who were resettled in the United States under an international program, who committed suicide. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of Bhutanese refugees committing suicide is almost double compared to that of other communities. The average rate of suicide in the United States is 12 per 100,000, but the rate among Bhutanese is 27. Kandel had a wife and a 17-day-old child.

Bhutanese refugees say that individuals of all ages are committing suicide. Bidhyapati Mishra, a journalist who is resettled in North Carolina, says that loneliness, unemployment, language barrier and low economic status are the main reasons behind these unfortunate incidents.

Deepesh Das Shrestha of United Nationas High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says, “We are working with other agencies in the US to try to find a way to reduce the number of suicides.” Bhutanese refugees in Nepal say that provided with a better living environment and proper counselling, the number can be brought down.