On September 10 every year, people all across celebrate World Suicide Prevention Day. The day is observed to spread awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated ten lakhs people per year die by suicide or about one person in 10,000, or “a death every 40 seconds or about 3,000 every day”. Despite this huge figure, there are very few organizations around that are working in the field of suicide prevention.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulted in people losing their jobs and loved ones, social isolation leading to loneliness, all these factors made the suicidal rate go up. Mental health consequences are likely to be present for longer and peak later than the actual pandemic.
This is the second year that the WSPD theme is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.” This theme will also be used for WSPD 2020. It has been chosen as it highlights the most essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention- collaboration.
A 2019 study in the journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found three main things that increase the risk of suicide among young people: Psychological factors, like depression, anxiety, and drug abuse; stressful life events, such as family problems and peer conflicts; and personality traits, including neuroticism and impulse problems. All of these stressors may be at play during the pandemic.
The major steps towards preventing suicide are identifying the problem in various dimensions, understanding risk factors, and identifying what works in individual societies. Early recognition of the warning signs and professional assistance can help to save a life.
How to avoid suicidal thoughts:
• Parents should ask open-ended questions, such as “can you tell me more about it”. Parents should try to be a friend of their children. Your children should not hesitate to tell you about their problems.
• Asking about suicide doesn’t mean you promote it, seek help. One scientific study stated, “The findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may, in fact, reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation, and may lead to improvements in mental health in treatment-seeking populations.”
• Speak out, distancing yourself from people leads to loneliness- socialize yourself (taking the current scenario, digital socialization would help).
• Listen and then listen some more- Listen for ways that people communicate their emotional state. If you think a person might be considering self-harm, ask them. And listen to what they say. Listen to what they say and do what they don’t say.
• Seek therapy for suicide prevention- Seeking help from A psychiatrist can help you improve your mental health.
The stigma and taboo around mental illness in our country is real. Suicide impacts everyone irrespective of race, religion, gender, age, income and educational level, culture, nationality, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Once we acknowledge its presence we can work together to raise awareness about it.
As Crowdera, we have supported a whole lot of NGOs working on mental wellness and suicide prevention with our free fundraising portal.
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