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Home / Pune News / World suicide prevention day: How Pune willing to go mental for caring, sensitive society

World suicide prevention day: How Pune willing to go mental for caring, sensitive society

Experts throw light on what can be done to prevent suicide. City NGO, Connecting, shares that they receive a minimum of 8-10 calls daily on their distress helpline 

pune Updated: Sep 10, 2018, 15:58 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
A sad and depressed young man is sitting on the floor in an empty room
A sad and depressed young man is sitting on the floor in an empty room(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

September 10 is observed as the world suicide prevention day by the international association of suicide prevention. The theme this year is ‘Working together for preventing suicides”, which means people from all walks of life should come together and create a caring and sensitive society where everybody is connected to life. This also means that all the organisations, stakeholders and hospitals working for mental health should come together and work in collaboration to reduce the incidence of suicides. Experts throw light on what can be done to prevent suicide and also talk about the recent numbers. 

Arnavaz Damania, founder, Connecting NGO that runs a distress helpline since 2008, shared that last year the helpline received close to 2,500 calls. These calls are made from across the nation. The average age-group from which they receive calls is 18 to 45 years. “We also observed that the number of male callers is more than female callers. Through our other programmes, we have reached out to around 8,000 people last year and through peer educators programme (PEP) and suicide survivors programme (SSP), we have provided service to about 3,500 people in Pune city. Pertaining to this year’s theme, we look forward to collaborate with different organisations in India working for mental health and our aim will be of reaching out to the rural population of Maharashtra through collaborations with organisations working with the rural population,” said Damania.

Based upon the calls they receive, the reasons why people are feeling emotional distress and suicidal are as follows - relationship problems, financial problems, issues concerning marriage and divorce, issues related to job and employment, non acceptance of sexual orientation and gender identity, domestic violence and ill treatment from in laws, blackmail. 

Signs to look out for conditions like depression, anxiety and substance related concerns, especially when unaddressed, increase risk of suicide. Sonali Tanksale, clinical psychologist, said, “One should look out for a change in behaviour or the presence of an entirely new behaviour. If a person talks about killing themselves, expresses hopeless, or experiences unbearable pain, looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods, lack of interest along with an avoidance and lack of energy while doing most activities, frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomach aches, headaches, fatigue.”

Dealing with depression, anxiety and stress
The risk of being depressed is increased more by poverty, unemployment, life events such as death of a loved one or a relationship break-up
  • Get professional help
  • Encourage the person to see a mental health professional or take them to a general practitioner (GP) for further professional guidance.
  • Make a safety plan. Help the person develop a set of steps which he promises to follow during a suicidal crisis.
  • Encourage positive lifestyle changes. Following a healthy diet, sufficient sleep along with exercising will help the person.
  • Remove potential means of suicide. Medication, sharp and dangerous objects should be locked away.
  • Provide with continuous support and encouragement to help the person focus on positive aspects of life.
  • Give the person every opportunity to share his troubles and ventilate his feelings.
  • Patience, sympathy, acceptance, avoiding arguments and extending unconditional support is needed.
  • World suicide prevention day 2018 facts and figures sheet by international association of suicide prevention
    800,000+ people die by committing suicide annually, representing 1 person every 40 seconds
    1.4% Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death globally, account for 1.4% of all deaths
    11.4 The global suicide rate is 11.4 per 1,00,000 population
    15/1,00,000 for males | 8/1,00,000 for females
    Globally suicide rates are higher in males than females
    For those in emotional distress or feeling suicidal
    1800 843 4353 (toll free) 9922001122 (All days, 12 pm - 8pm)
    The helpline is manned by a team of 33 volunteers which consists of seven mentors
    SUICIDE FREE INDIA 9921662725
    REACH OUT TO LIFE FOUNDATION runs a 24-hour suicide prevention helpline, 9881020211

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