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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

World Mental Health Day: 1,654 distress calls in 6 months in Pune, half of them from men

In a bid to create awareness about mental health, World Mental Health Day, is organised every October 10, which was started by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992

pune Updated: Oct 11, 2019 16:44 IST
Dheeraj Bengrut
Dheeraj Bengrut
Hindustan Times, Pune
In light of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Mental Health Day agenda of suicide prevention, Panchshil Foundation and Connecting Trust have collaborated to create an awareness campaign, It’s High Time, to reduce the stigma against suicide.
In light of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Mental Health Day agenda of suicide prevention, Panchshil Foundation and Connecting Trust have collaborated to create an awareness campaign, It’s High Time, to reduce the stigma against suicide.(HT PHOTO)
         

According to Connecting Trust, a city-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) working in the field of mental health, at least 1,654 calls have been made in the past six months to its ‘emotional distress’ helpline number.

“Out of the total 1,654 calls, half of them were from men. In light of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Mental Health Day agenda of suicide prevention, Panchshil Foundation and Connecting Trust have collaborated to create an awareness campaign, It’s High Time, to reduce the stigma against suicide. It’s high time we deal with mental health and suicide and support each other as a community,” said Liyaan Sataravala, awareness programme coordinator, Connecting Trust. 

In a bid to create awareness about mental health, World Mental Health Day, is organised every October 10, which was started by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992.

“The World Mental Health Day is basically organised to raise awareness and increase acceptance of the need of mental health amongst people. There is an increase in the number of patients we see every year and the proportion is preventable. To protect one from the sufferings of mental health-related issues, one should regularly exercise, socialise and most importantly stay away from all addictions. If you are facing any kind of mental health problem, it is my appeal to you to come forward and seek help,” said Dr Bhooshan Shukla, child and adolescent psychiatrist.

Sataravala adds, “If you ever feel that you need a listening service which is confidential, anonymous, non-judgemental, and non-advisory, you can contact the Connecting helpline. Additionally, if anyone wants to be a part of Connecting’s distress helpline, you can join our mandatory training which will be conducted every weekend starting November 2, with practice sessions on Wednesdays.”  

“Suicide is a public health problem. An estimated 8,00,000 people globally lose their life to suicide every year, equating to around one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29, with people of all ages vulnerable. Though suicide is a global issue, nearly 79% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries. The WHO South-East Asia Region is the world’s most affected region, accounting for 39% of global suicide mortality. As this year’s World Mental Health Day emphasises, suicide is preventable. Effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and individual levels to prevent suicide and suicide attempts, from locking up pesticides and firearms to encouraging responsible media reporting. The region’s member states are taking important steps to address the issue. In line with the regional strategy on preventing suicide, all countries are working to develop and implement comprehensive, multisectoral suicide prevention strategies. Action in four key areas is needed,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO, Regional Director for South-East Asia

“First, leadership and governance for suicide prevention should be strengthened. National policies or strategies for suicide prevention should be developed and implemented in line with evidence, best practices and international and regional human rights conventions. To help do that, appropriate budgets should be allocated, and institutional, legal and service arrangements adjusted appropriately,” she added.

First Published: Oct 09, 2019 20:24 IST

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