‘Stay alive’ pledge experts on World Suicide Prevention Day

Early at 7.15am as you sit to have your morning tea with a newspaper spread in your table, probably the first thing you notice will be three or four stories of suicide each day. Why are suicides becoming rampant? Here’s our attempt at My Medical Mantra to see where the hopelessness is stemming from…

“There is so much hope to share now, thanks to you doc,” said Payal Khanna (name changed) says a suicide survivor as she calls up her doctor at 7.30 am in the morning on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day.

Eight weeks ago, Payal visited a city psychiatrist after attempting suicide, twice. Her parents, naturally got her to the psychiatrist after they came to know about this.

She walked in the clinic with much reluctance and little hope, as she did exhibit clear signs of depression. “Payal walked up to my clinic about 8 weeks ago with a very negative outlook about life. She was this 30-year-old engineer who, at the first sight would come across as timid and shy,” said Dr Anjali Chhabria, renowned Psychiatrist from Mumbai and Founder of Mind Temple.

Payal was suffering from depression owing to her disinterest in engineering and a difficult relationship with a married man. “She did engineering by her choice only but, she didn’t enjoy the career after she started pursuing it. Moreover, she was in a relationship with a guy who was already married. When she came to me, I did counsel her multiple times and today, if you see her, you would be amazed at her progress.”

‘Stay alive’ pledge experts on World Suicide Prevention Day

Payal has now started dance classes, her childhood passion. Moreover, she has now started volunteering at an NGO that works for blind children.

“As we counseled her, she cluttered herself and has, broken up with the guy after fully understanding that the relationship wasn’t going anywhere,” added Dr Chhabria.

‘Every year, more than 8,00,000 people die by suicide and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt. Behind these statistics are the individual stories of those who have, for many different reasons, questioned the value of their own lives’ reads the official website of World Suicide Prevention Day by the International Association of Suicide Prevention.

Payal’s case is not an isolated one say experts.  A failed relationship, a failed career or a dysfunctional family doesn’t have to mean suicide is the answer. “Nowadays, when people call me, as I say bye, I have started saying ‘Stay Alive’ instead of take care. Depression is that severe, a problem today. I am trying to reach out to as many schools and colleges with a talk named ‘Dare to share’,” said Dr Harish Shetty, consulting psychiatrist at Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai.

Moreover, “Shame should be eliminated. A failed marriage or career cannot make you a failure,” added Dr Shetty.

On this occasion, Dr Milan Balakrishnan, Consultant psychiatrist JUNO clinic has launched an app for suicide prevention to reach out to as many people as possible.

Every suicide attempt provides us with a window of opportunity to intervene and potentially stop a fellow human from hurting herself / himself. “Mental Health Technologies (MHT) – is our informal initiative comprising of two Psychiatrists and a Software Developer- has launched an application called ‘Emotional Support Helpline Directory,’” he said.

“The Emotional Support Helpline Directory has gone live at 8 am today on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day. This is a step in our quest for #ZeroSuicide.  If one life is saved this app would have served its purpose,” he added.

BOX: source: Dr Balakrishnan

‘Emotional Support Helpline Directory’ is completely free of cost, is an open source app that is released today, 10 September 2017, marking the beginning of the journey to #zerosuicide on World Suicide Prevention Day. More information about this application can be found on https://mhtech.in