World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), on 10 September, is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). WHO has been co-sponsor of the day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.
The ongoing pandemic has created a world environment that is harsh and seriously detrimental for mental health, making this the most imperative time to focus on suicide prevention.
Problems in love life, problems in academic life, problems in professional life, whatever the problem might be, committing suicides is never the solution.
● What are the warning signs and symptoms of suicide?
Of course, prevention starts with recognizing the early warning signs, taking them seriously and acting upon them. Following are some of the common signs and symptoms that indicate someone may be thinking about suicide:
● Drastic changes in mood and behaviour
● Major changes to sleeping patterns – such as sleeping too much or too little
● Loss of energy
● Threatening to kill oneself
● Saying things like ‘no-one will miss me when I am gone’
● Looking for ways to kill oneself, such as seeking access to pesticides, firearms or medication, or browsing the internet for means of taking one’s own life
● Self-harming behaviours like bodily harm, cuts, etc.
● Saying goodbye to close family members and friends, giving away of valued possessions, or writing a will
● What you can do if you think someone has suicidal tendencies?
Suicide is a complex issue, however, it is preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions. Here are a few things you can do if someone you know is showing warning signs for suicide, as per WHO:
● Find an appropriate time and a quiet place to talk about suicide with the person you are worried about.
● Let your loved one or the concerned person know that you are there to listen.
● Encourage the person to seek professional help, such as of a doctor, mental health professional, counsellor or social worker. Offer to accompany them to an appointment.
● Do not leave the person alone if you think he/she is in immediate danger.
● Don't hesitate to ask if he or she is depressed or thinking about suicide. Instead, seek professional help from the emergency services, a crisis line, or a health-care professional, or turn to family members.
● Make sure that you stay in touch to check how the person is doing.
● If the person you are worried about lives with you, ensure that he or she does not have access to means of suicide - such as pesticides, firearms or medication in the home.If you think someone you know is considering suicide, talk to them about it and listen with an open mind while offering your support.
So on this day, let us take a pledge to help each other in times of crisis so that nobody has to deal with suicidal thoughts. Let's be there to support and help each other. Let's drop the 'log kya kahengey' approach and talk about suicide awareness.
Nikita Rajpurohit, The Fabindia School <email@example.com>