This World Suicide Prevention Day, we want to give you the tools to help someone who may need it.
According to the Suicide Prevention India Foundation, a person dies by suicide every 4 minutes.
The NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) reports that the rates of suicide among young people and students are on the rise. In fact, India has one of the world’s highest rates of suicides among people between 15 and 29 years old.
But why me?
People often don’t know what to say to someone who is contemplating suicide, and so they avoid bringing it up. But prevention of suicide is a collective responsibility, and we all can — and should — do our best to help.
What should I look for?
While it’s hard to say with certainty how someone may behave when considering suicide, there are some signs of distress that might help you identify someone who is suicidal:
- Talking about wanting to die or not live anymore
- Noticeable changes in mood/behaviour that are either unusual or extremely atypical
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness or of being trapped
- Expressing feelings of extreme emotional pain or suffering
- Increased use of or reliance on alcohol or drugs
- Disconnecting from friends, family, and/or social media
- Changes in sleep patterns
What should I do if I see these signs?
When someone reaches out to you, they aren’t expecting professional advice, but for you to offer help — it’s always better to do something rather than nothing.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- You don’t have to keep it a secret when someone says they’re considering suicide
- You can be direct, and tell the person that you are worried they may harm themselves
- It’s important not to judge or react harshly; be patient and supportive
- Give them your full attention — talk in private so you’re not disturbed
- Encourage them to get help, and tell them it’s alright to do so
- If you can, put them in touch with a professional
- If you aren’t sure about confronting the person directly, talk to a trusted friend or family member instead
Who should I refer them to?
Here are some helpful resources that you can share with someone in distress:
- Aasra 24/7 helpline
- Parivarthan Counseling Center: +91 76766 02602 | Mon-Fri, 1 – 10 pm
- TISS (Tata Institute Of Social Sciences): 022-25521111 / +91 91529 87821 | Mon-Sat, 10 am – 8 pm
How do I learn more about suicide prevention?
- Aasra 24/7 helpline offers suicide awareness workshops
- NIMHANS offers gatekeeper training in suicide prevention
We hope this information has shed light on a topic that is not discussed too often but should be. If you found this information useful, do share it with your friends and family.