Senior Mumbai cop's suicide points to need for counselling for terminally ill people
The suicide note left by Maharashtra's Additional Director General of Police, Himanshu Roy, mentioned that he was depressed due to cancer. Words that highlight the need for better care and support for people with terminal diseases.
India has one million new cancer cases every year. Of this, six to seven lakh patients die.
However, palliative care has not become a part of public healthcare yet, say experts. The few who come to hospitals seeking palliative care are terminally ill and have already developed sign of depression.
Experts say that it is important to hand hold a patient with terminal illness and support them, psychologically as well as socially.
54-year-old Roy, who shot himself through the mouth at his home, was advised to seek counselling for depression by doctors. However, it is unclear if he did take it. His last report showed no signs of of tumour, but he needed rehabilitation.
India has poor palliative support for cancer and other terminal illnesses. In the absence of trained psychiatrists, patients have nowhere to go for mental support.