I still regret that incident which literally shook me in the year 1994. I was a teenager then but I could have prevented someone from taking her own life. Sadly, I could not.
World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on the 10th of September every year. This day is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention. IASP is “dedicated to preventing suicide and suicidal behaviour, alleviating its effects, and providing a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors”.
WSPD is an opportunity to raise awareness among all that suicide can be prevented. Even I felt, I could have prevented it by being a little vigilant and attentive to her and her feelings.
When the thought came, how we can prevent a possible suicide, I asked my friends to share their thoughts and they were quick to respond with their views.
I will just keep talking and checking on that person and ensure that he/she doesn’t feel alone or left out.
If ever I feel a person is depressed, finding it difficult to cope up with the stress of facing challenges life is throwing at him or her, my initiative would be to make them realise!! Realise what? “Look around, we are not alone. We are in a situation which in our perspective is very difficult and life not worthy of living. But there are others who are struggling to have your piece at least to survive. And then there are others who rose from these dark waters. The first case is motivation to cling on to life and the second case is an inspiration to fight back. Do everything except to give up.”
Regularly be in touch with my near and dear ones.
Being observant– notice change in the behavior of my friend, i.e., could be a weird message.
Not ignoring social media posts of anyone on my friend list, I mean, the posts expressing negative feelings of a person or friend.
Suicide is a transient thought and often the extreme step could be avoided. No one is born with suicidal thoughts. Some failure or pain would have caused that thought. The only way “we” – friends, family, and society can help is through empathy and compassion. I would choose empathy over everything else.
And finally, Rajnandini gave her counselor’s view summarising all of our views…
1. Be vigilant for suicidal tendencies in people
2. Give a patient, non-judgmental hearing to anyone in distress
3. Encourage people to seek professional help and counseling when required
4. Impress upon people how precious a gift life is
5. Pray for those battling with life stressors
We must be aware of and must be seeing much news about the suicides during this pandemic. It has affected mental health big time. Staying isolated at home, less physical activities, unexpected changes in life and lack of proper connection between humans have made things worse. So, preventing suicide has become all the more important during this gloomy pandemic situation.
In the end, for our encouragement, I want to quote what God says,
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Stay Alert & Stay Blessed!