A lonely soul , a career failed , a jilted lover , a man tired and frustrated with life ,a child in an unloved home, a farmer burdened with debt. Is their life not valuable enough? Is taking away such a beautiful gift , answer to all the problems ?
Suicide isn’t the answer. According to WHO , Suicide Prevention (SUPRE) around 800000 people commit suicide. The Registrar General of India quotes that 17% of all the suicides happen in India. Also India has a higher number of women committing suicides.
We as doctors and medical students can definitely aid to change these appalling numbers . I believe that supporting one another is crucial , be it your family member or your friend or your peer . Extend a helping hand , help them through. Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously.
A few of the warning signs could be
- Talking about suicide
- Gathering information about lethal means
- Hopelessness, no hope for the future.
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Rebellious and violent behaviour especially in teenagers
Talking about changes in a person can be difficult. It is important that one does not argue with the person. It is best to listen to their problems sympathetically and without judgement.Listening is the first step towards help.
Seek help as soon as possible from a doctor or counsellor .Follow-up with them about their medications if prescribed . But not all suicidal individuals may be suffering from psychological disorders . Help them bring about positive changes in their life , as many a time they feel they can’t be helped . But try to be someone’s pillar of strength.
But all of this begins with a simple act of being there, of guiding someone when they are astray. Everyone has good times and bad times, and you should be there with them in their worst times. Not everyone going through a rough patch will turn towards such a drastic measure. But just a gesture of help or just a “I am there “will help someone see light on a dark day
10th September is observed as World suicide Prevention Day to create awareness and to bolster the efforts in suicide prevention. So let’s try to be there for someone you know, help them through, show them you care be their guiding light. When someone’s down and in a fix, tell them,
“Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.”
Source: American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
University of Florida