Every year, close to 8 lakh people die of suicide worldwide. And for each suicide, there are over 20 suicide attempts. India has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. And every hour one student commits suicide, with 28 suicides being reported every day. We are all going through unprecedented times right now, stress levels are at an all time high, and the world has never seemed scarier. It is important, now more than ever, to have a conversation about mental health and work on dispelling the taboos surrounding mental health and suicide.
This World Suicide Prevention Day, light a candle near a window at 8PM to show your support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost one, and for the survivors of suicide.
WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE
Suicidal behaviour refers to talking, thinking or taking actions towards ending one’s life.
It is not possible to see what a person is feeling, so it isn’t easy to identify when someone might be having suicidal thoughts. However, there are certain warning signs that can help identify if someone is contemplating suicide:
- Giving away personal possessions or “getting all their stuff in order”
- Change in diet: eating too much or eating too little
- Talking about hopelessness, feeling trapped or alone, or feeling like life is meaningless
- Erratic sleeping patterns
- Sudden change in personality
- Looking for means of doing personal harm, such as buying poison
- Avoiding social interactions
- Dramatic mood swings
- Exhibiting signs of extreme anxiousness
- Talking about death
If you or someone you know is exhibiting either, you should seek immediate help.
Most of the time, there’s not a single reason as to why someone might decide to take their own life. Mental illness is a contributing factor but more than half of the people who die by suicide aren’t diagnosed with a mental illness.
Depression is the top mental health risk factor but having any mental illness might make a person more prone to suicidal thoughts.
There are several risk factors, aside from mental health disorders, that can contribute to suicidal tendencies:
- Poor job security
- Pressures on students
- Living in an abusive household
- Substance abuse
- Childhood trauma
- Loss of a job
- Financial insecurity
Suicide is highly preventable and we need to be more aware of the warning signs in someone else or ourselves.
LACK OF ACCESS
In our society, talking about mental health is not a commonly accepted thing. There are a lot of taboos surrounding mental illnesses and mental health in general and we need to normalize talking about mental health. The same importance we place on physical health must be placed on mental health too. We, as individuals, are often not in tune with what we’re feeling, and it does not help when you share your feelings with someone and they tell you that it’s all in your head.
“Getting help” itself is not very accessible to us as Indians right now. First of all, there is a lot of stigma around therapy. Even if you cross that hurdle, therapy is quite expensive. It is, therefore, highly inaccessible to people who need it the most and are at higher risk of committing suicide, such as poor farmers and students.
Apart from eliminating access to lethal methods of suicide, we must also focus on normalizing therapy and making it accessible to everyone.
Suicide Helpline Number: 9152987821
Nidhi is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited By: Maryam Ahmed
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.