Over 8,000 people in India committed suicide in 2020 due to unemployment and financial difficulties amid the sudden lockdown that the country faced during the first wave of the coronavirus, the government told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Speaking at parliament, Junior Minister of Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said 8,761 people “died by suicide due to unemployment, bankruptcy or indebtedness in the year 2020.”

A total of 25,251 people in the country had ended their own lives between 2018 and 2020 because of financial crisis, Rai added.

The government has also underlined that it launched various employment and income generation initiatives.

The Home Ministry has said that its flagship programs, including on domestic production, digitalization, cleanliness, smart cities, housing, infrastructure, and industry, have the potential to boost productive employment opportunities.

“To address the burden of mental disorders, the government is implementing the National Mental Health Program (NMHP) and is supporting implementation of the District Mental Health Program (DMHP) under NMHP in 692 districts of the country,” said a recent statement by the government.

It underlined that these programs aim to provide suicide prevention services, workplace stress management, life skills training and counseling in schools and colleges, along with mental health services from prevention to long-term care.

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