Updated: Nov 18
Suicide is a word that scares us all, yet at the same time it sounds unrealistic. We always deny the fact that someone close to us can ever commit this act. It is the least talked about things in our society. We fear this word and so we don’t discuss it. A lot of children, specially teenagers go through extreme ups and downs in their life and some of them unfortunately choose to end their life. It is really sad that as parents we have miserably failed in acknowledging that our children are capable of taking this extreme measure. It is very important to have a discussion on suicide.
Recently, we are all in a shock with the sudden demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. It had been said that he has died by suicide which was triggered by months of depression. He was in the entertainment industry, presumably having friends yet nobody to have shared his feelings with. This is difficult to digest but it’s the truth. We have so many people around us but still we don’t find anybody worthy of sharing our feelings. This hesitation to talk about suicide must be broken.
Suicide can be prevented. We need to open up ourselves a little bit on having proper discussions with our dear ones about the possibility of wanting to end one’s life. It is very important to talk about an issue and make people aware about it. We can start doing it from our home. We need to be more attentive and respond quickly whenever we find somebody talking about suicide. People who are into depression always give warning signs about suicide. They may talk about dying, or how worthless they feel, they may show hopelessness about their future, and social withdrawal. If these warning signs are picked up at the right time and help is provided, suicide is sure to be prevented.
Some more tips on how to prevent suicide are discussed below:
SHOW YOUR CONCERN: we understand it is very difficult to initiate the talk with a person whom we find suicidal. We always have thoughts that what if the person gets angry or what if he is not actually thinking about suicide. But talking to someone about suicide never triggers it rather it makes them feel that someone is out there who cares.
Show your concern to the person whom you feel is thinking about suicide. Show them that you’ve been concerned for them and assure them that you’re there for them anytime. Make them believe that they can always come to you whenever they feel low. Offering them hope by being sympathetic and non-judgmental can bring them back.
RESPOND QUICKLY: responding on time is most crucial step. What if you have been aware of someone’s suicidal behavior but didn’t take action on time resulting in the person losing his/her life? Whenever you find someone talking about death or suicide it’s important to assess the danger in the situation.
You can do that by looking if they have a plan for suicide, or do they possess any means (rope, gun, pills, etc.) for suicide, or do they have the intention of ending up their life in a set time. These triggers are helpful in evaluating if the person will commit suicide or not. When these signs are clear, respond as quickly as possible and take suitable action.
OFFER HELP AND SUPPORT: making a person believe that he/she can always ask for help and support reduces the chance of suicide. Start by being empathetic and showing that you care.
People with suicidal thoughts can always be helped by referring them to a professional counselor or therapist. They can be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle and regularly checking up on them for the progress. Just being there with the person is enough to make them feel good and loved.
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELPLINE NUMBERS
Now that we know some of the techniques by which suicide can be prevented, we should also be aware of the groups and institutions out there who are helping people in this venture. There are certain non-governmental organizations that are working for suicide prevention and want to reach out to as many people. Some of these institutions are:
1. AASRA: this is a Mumbai-based organization which is working 24*7 to help people who are distress. They have professional trained volunteers who answer the calls.
Helpline number: +91 98204 66726
2. FORTIS STRESS HELPLINE: they offer support to anyone who is going through stressful times. They have mental health specialists who attend to the calls.
Helpline number: +9183768 04102
3. PARIVARTHAN: this is a Bangalore based counseling provider which has a dedicated helpline for those in distress.
Helpline number: +91 76766 02602
4. COOJ MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION: this mental health organisation is based in Goa. They provide e-counseling services as well as suicide helpline numbers.
Helpline number: +832 2252525
5. SNEHA FOUNDATION: this is a suicide prevention organisation which is based out of Chennai.
Helpline number: 044-24640050
6. iCall: runs by Tata Institute Of Social Sciences, iCall provides counselling via email and telephone and provide free services to people who are distressed. They hava team of qualified mental health specialists.
Helpline number: +91 22 2552111 and +91 91529 8782
7. VANDRAVELA FOUNDATION: this is a non-profit organisation providing 24*7 services to people. People can also connect to them via email @vandrevalafoundation.com.
Helpline number: +91 730 459 9836, +91 730 459 9837
8. SAMARITANS: this is based out of Mumbai. They provide counselling services who are distressed and need help.
Helpline number: +91 84229 84528, +9184229 84529
It is never too late to reach out and seek help. There are people who are genuinely working for saving lives. Never hesitate to talk and ask for help.
9. THANAL SUICIDE PREVENTION CENTRE - Kozikode Helpline number: +91 0495 2760000, daily 10am to 6pm
10. MAITHRI KOCHI - Kochi Helpline number: +91 484 2540530, daily 10am to 7pm
11. SANJEEVANI - Thiruvananthapuram Helpline number: +91 0471 2533900, Monday to Saturday: 1pm to 5pm