Perceptions of stakeholders about the role of health system in suicide prevention in Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Policy & Management (MSc Health Policy & Mgmt)


Community Health Sciences


Perceptions of the Stakeholders about the role of the Health System in Suicide Prevention in Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan Background: Suicide is becoming an alarming public health issue, every 40 seconds an individual lost a life by committing suicide worldwide. The rate of suicide is 14.5/100,000 populations, 8.0 for females and 15.0 for males of the total prevalence of suicide. Whereas, Low and Middle- Income Countries (LMICs) carry 78% of the suicide burden due to inadequate mental health facilities early identification or diagnosis and timely treatment. The rate of suicide in district Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan is drastically high as compared to other provinces in Pakistan. The crude suicide-rate for females is 14.89 per 100,000 population and the annual age-specific death rate for adolescents (15 to 24 years of age) is 61.07 per 100,000 population. It is a very complex issue; the collective action of the society is needed for the prevention. The World Health Organization (WHO) also, has emphasized the inter-sectoral prevention strategy for suicide prevention. Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of the stakeholders about the role of the health system at district Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan. Methodology: This study used a qualitative descriptive exploratory research design to explore the perceptions of stakeholders regarding the role of the health system in suicide prevention in Ghizer. A total of twelve stakeholders were recruited for this study, using a purposive sampling technique. Face to face interviews was conducted to obtain the data using a self-developed in-depth interview guide. A manual content-analysis was done, using Creswell's six steps of data analysis. Findings: The study results led to three broad themes, 1) Suicide as A Social Issue, 2) Role of Health System in Suicide Prevention, and 3) Challenges for Health System in Suicide Prevention. Theme one was sub-categorized into; a) Perceived situations contributing to suicide, b) Environmental factors. Theme two was subdivided into; a) Major hurdles for Health system, b) Lack of mental health services in the available health system. Theme three was subdivided into; a) Lack of collaboration across-sectors, b) Unavailability of mental health professionals, and c) Financial issues. Conclusion: The study findings reveal that the role of the health system is lacking in suicide prevention in Ghizer. There are multiple challenges for health system including, lack of awareness on mental issues, shortage of human or financial resources and lack of collaboration in the community, which require dire attention. Moreover, there is a need of modification of existing policies or strategies to overcome the existing challenges for the effective prevention of suicide in the area. This study emphasized on creating awareness about mental health issues, the introduction of school health programs, parent counseling session and strengthening of the health system by allocating the suitable amount of budget for mental health issues and suicide prevention strategies.

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