World Suicide Prevention Day
Suicide is often taken to mean a weakness to live or get by life.
A 2019 study reported that a staggering 1.39 lakh Indians committed suicide that year.
Of this number, 67% were young adults.
On this World Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day on September 10, 2021, we explore ways of dealing with and healing from suicidal thoughts from content sourced from the Suicide Prevention in India Foundation (SPIF).
Suicide is an emerging public health issue in India and the most vulnerable groups are between 15–29-year-olds, the elderly and people with special needs.
However, there has been mass-awareness over the last few years and in 2017, a landmark SC judgment decriminalised suicide, thus ensuring a dignified and humane perspective to this challenge.
While suicide does have connections with depression and mental health, it can also be triggered by impulsion in times of crisis. It does not have a single cause, and can stem from biological reasons like less serotonin in the brain to socio-cultural influences.
Physical, mental and even environmental factors like exposure to certain negative situations also act as triggers.
There are three stages to suicide which include ideation, planning and auto pilot. The last is the most dangerous and would require active awareness and support from family, friends and social factors.
Each of these three stages would require psychotherapy and psychiatric evaluation respectively.
Factors that can further envelop individuals in a safe space include effective behavioural health care, a social connect to loved ones, building emotional resilience among other life skills, self-esteem and a sense of purpose through socio-cultural-personal beliefs that discourage this step.
The Question-Process and Refer (QPR) format helps those interested to help identify and effectively prevent suicidal behaviour.
QPR is created to offer hope through positive action.
Some other methods shared by SPIF that could help tremendously, albeit slowly, include talking to people who offer you a safe space.
If you cannot think of anybody, here are a few helplines listed below that would be more than happy to take your call and hear your story.
It is also important to know that your feelings are valid, and it is completely normal to ask for help or want to share your problems.
Remember that suicide is not shameful or abnormal. Many great people and several celebrities too have endured and still undergo therapy for the same.
While medication and diagnosis is intrinsic to healing, a healthy lifestyle helps reduces the chances a great deal.
Eating healthy, nutritious food, getting at least seven hours of sleep, regular exercise and healing in nature are some therapeutic yet holistic ways to keep thoughts on suicide at bay.
Engaging in art or even journaling your thoughts is another way to disengage negative thoughts.
Please remember, there is no shame in reaching out or feeling the way you do.
If you know somebody who you feel may be inching towards this, please make sure they know how much they matter.
Practice kindness and empathy, and train your mind to observe and tackle any warning signs.
If you cannot, reach out to somebody who can do that.
All lives matter.
Call: 9152987821 (Monday-Saturday 8-10 pm)
Aasra-9820466726 (24×7 helpline)
DISHA: 1056 (24X7 helpline)
One Life: 7893078930 (24×7 helpline)
Arogya Sahayavani: 104 (24×7 helpline)
SNEHA: 044246440050 (24X7 helpline)
By Maria Kuruvilla