Psychiatrists from Sion Hospital and the Vandrevala Foundation, which runs a mental health helpline, will prepare a module to train community leaders to identify suicidal and homicidal tendencies among members of their community.
This is part of a pilot outreach programme initiated after several murders and suicides were reported in the city last month.
Dr Nilesh Shah, the head of Psychiatry at Sion hospital and Dr Harish Shetty, who consults for Vandrevala Foundation, will formulate a module to train leaders. The programme would be held on December 7, said Dr Suleiman Merchant, acting dean, Sion Hospital.
On Monday, psychiatrists, community leaders, railway policemen met at Sion Hospital to discuss the project.
“Nearly 50% of suicide victims leave signs which others are not able to recognise. We can train people to spot suicide and homicidal tendencies like how we train people to identify malaria and polio,” said Shetty.
Shetty cited the example of a girl who committed suicide after not getting admission in a good college. “She stopped eating. She didn’t watch her favourite television show. She also showed her mother her hand and said her lifeline ends here,” said Shetty.
Assistant commissioner of police, central railway, BA Thombare who was part of the meeting narrated the case of a man who would walk on the edge of a railway platform and then step back.
“After doing that several times, he committed suicide on the tracks. We later saw CCTV images of it.”
Mepa Gadia, a leader from the potters’ community in Dharavi, said his community has been making intervening since 1995 to prevent suicides. “We would encounter a lot of suicides, especially of women on the railway tracks. We built a wall in 1995 near the track. We also go to houses where there are fights and resolve them. We have not had a single suicide in the community since 1995,” said Gedia.