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 

Updated: Sep 10, 2018 15:58:50

By Anjali Shetty

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.”


First Published: Sep 10, 2018 15:05:21


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