Afternoon Voice

Celebrating World Suicide Prevention Day 

World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 is an event to encourage us to engage with each other and to join together and spread awareness of suicide prevention. Suicide is a much bigger problem than society will admit; the causes, methods, and prevention need to be discussed more openly.

Over the world it’s even greater; an estimated 800,000 people commit suicide each year. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) data, a suicide is committed every 40 seconds in the world, making it one of the leading causes of death. Suicide has become a major social and medical problem around the world.

Suicide is the killing of oneself. Suicide happens every day, and every day a family’s life gets changed. Even doctors have reported the cases of children below the age of 10 talking about and contemplating suicide. In India, suicide is more of a social and public health objective than a traditional exercise in the mental health sector. Each year, between 30 and 40 people per 100,000 Indians aged between 15 and 29 kill themselves. This accounts for about a third of all suicides in the country. Most youngsters today are so ambitious that they constantly draw comparisons with their peers and find themselves to be less worthy. Sometimes failed romances are also another big reason for young people committing or contemplating suicides. National Crime Records Bureau quoted that every hour one student commits suicide in India. Parents and schools cannot prepare children mentally and psychologically for the many triggers in the world. Some researchers have attributed the rise of youth suicide to urbanisation and the breakdown of the traditional large family support system.

Only when we bring together the knowledge, skills, resources, and efforts of wide ranges of individuals and organisations can we collectively address the challenges presented by suicidal behavior in society today. A healthy person talking about a suicide or being aware of a suicide among family or friends does not put them at greater risk for attempting suicide. People feel suicidal because they feel nothing else will work out and their death will solve the problem. Suicidal thoughts are often linked with a mental disorder and can be treated well. Ending a life is a big step in the wrong direction for most. Something needs to be done to raise awareness of that startling fact. The main focus is on support, remembering loved ones and what we can do better to help one another. This is by no means glamorising suicide and we are not selling products to make a profit.

Those who are the victims of both depression and alcohol or drug abuse are especially at risk. The most common underlying disorder is depression, with an estimated 60 per cent of suicides were by people suffering from depression. Depression will not go away on its own. Left untreated, depression can be very damaging and can result in suicidal ideation. Youths of today are too sensitive to sort any sort of relationship problem. The problem may be anything; fight with best friends, a bitter misunderstanding with girlfriend/boyfriend followed by an even bitter break-up, family issues with parents fighting over their lives or over financial issues.

The real problem when it comes to depression is getting the motivation to go out and be around people even when people are not wanted. In the battle between the thirst to have their dream life and the urge to fulfill the expectation of the society, many are shattered. Suicide is preventable. On the occasion of World Suicide Prevention day, let us be clear that violence perpetrated against children in the name of training them to be members of society is wrong.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)