There is stigma attached to mental health problems. People often feel embarrassed to talk about their mental health. Not many want to talk about their feelings or seek help. World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for the psycho education of society, an occasion to create awareness about mental health problems and to fight against social stigma
This year the theme for World mental health day is ‘Suicide Prevention.’ Suicide is a global public health problem – according to the WHO, more than 800,000 people die by suicide a year, making it a leading cause of death among people fifteen to twenty-nine years old. Suicide is preventable and can therefore be avoided.
Suicide is the act of taking one’s own life on purpose. It can be a consequence of mental illness or a result of significant life events. Be vigilant when people start talking about ending their life or start isolating themselves. Be cautious if a person has attempted suicide or self-harm or if there is a history of suicide in their friends and family.
The Indian union health ministry estimates that 1.2 lakhs of people commit suicide every year in India. Suicidal attempts are common in people under 35 yrs.
What can family and friends do to help? Well, they can strengthen their interpersonal relationships with the individual – offering good social support, helping them get treated of any psychological, emotional and psychiatric problems (i.e. depression, psychosis, loneliness, alcohol and drug problems,) guiding and supporting them in regards to financial issues and counseling them for relationship issues. This valuable support will protect them and help them cope with suicidal thoughts.
Some advice to people experiencing suicidal thoughts – This whole experience of not wanting to live can be very distressing. You may feel as though you are stuck in a situation and that there is no way out. Never lose hope. Your family and friends can support you. Please see a professional who can treat the way you feel and can help you find a way out.