Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Ropar

HSS Seminar

Psychological Underpinnings of Suicidal Behaviour'


Dr. Devi Prasad Dash

September 7 , 2018 at  11:00 AM

Venue:  Conference Room 2


Suicide, a global phenomenon, has emerged as a major public health concern and a leading cause of death of more than 800,000 people every year. It has been estimated that every 40 seconds, one person in the world dies by committing suicide. By the year 2020, WHO estimates that approximately 1.53 million deaths may occur by suicide with the rate for suicide attempts increasing by10 to 20 times. Thus, the phenomenon of suicide emerges as an alarming affair that warrants greater attention. Suicidal Behaviour is a complex phenomenon to deal with and has been viewed for discussion from the lens of various theoretical perspectives, assessment measures and identification of people at-risk, prevention and intervention. Work done in the field of suicidal behaviour; points out that suicide is an act to escape the unpleasant and stressful realities of life. A population that is consistently exposed to extreme stress are the security forces. Stress is an inevitable part of a soldier’s life. Although a soldier is trained to act on and tackle the stressful situations, due to the dynamic nature of the job, intensity and frequency of these stressors tend to vary. The need to create awareness, greater understanding and prevention of suicidal behaviour has been a driving force behind several research studies carried out by the Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), DRDO. The present discussion also highlights the finding of the studies undertaken as well as talks about relevant strategies for management, prevention and intervention for facilitating the well-being of the security personnel.

Brief Bio-sketch of the speaker

Dr. Updesh Kumar is Scientist ‘G’ and Head, Mental Health Division at Defense Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) under DRDO, Ministry of Defense, Delhi. He obtained his doctorate degree from Punjab University, Chandigarh. He specializes in the area of military psychology, personality assessment, suicidal behavior, health psychology, and test development for the selection of officers for the Indian Armed Forces (Personality Tests and Intelligence Tests). Dr Updesh Kumar has edited volumes such as “Suicidal Behaviour: Assessment of People-at-Risk”, (SAGE, 2010), “Understanding Suicide Terrorism: Psychosocial Dynamics” (SAGE, 2014), “The Wiley Handbook of Personality Assessment” (John Wiley & Sons, 2016), “The Routledge International Handbook of Psychosocial Resilience” (Routledge, 2016) and most recently “Handbook of Suicidal Behavior” (Springer Nature, 2017). More details can be found at: http://www.drupdeshkumar.com/