Bharat Stories
Light of Knowledge

Suicides—How to prevent it and raise awareness

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Approximately a million people in the world die from suicide every year. Statistics in the United States suggest that every 38 seconds, someone attempts to commit suicide. While suicide is a sensitive subject, one should cut off from all the misconceptions and myths associated with the word, the most common of which is—That person committed suicide because he didn’t want to live.

The notion is quite wrong, as suicide doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t want to live but it actually means he is tired of the pain that has been bothering him for so long, so intensely that the person finds no other alternative to combat the pain other than dying. While researchers suggest that an established suicide is one where the victim actually leads a note explaining it to others why s/he took such a drastic step.

Statistics explain that only 25% of the suicide cases have victims leaving a note, while the others simply leave nothing behind other than their memories. Doctors explain the latter to be due to the fact that the person had been so detached from all ties that s/he doesn’t consider it even necessary to give any reason to anyone.

While we do know that killing oneself is solution to nothing and that we should try all that we can to keep going and trying to make things better, for a disturbed, distressed person, this simple sentence would be quite hard to grasp.

Here’s how you can do your bit in preventing suicides and also raising awareness about it—

  1. Be a keen observer of behavior and mood changes in your close ones. You may think it’s just a mood swing but many times, it can be actually something serious.
  2. Always be a good listener to what the disturbed person has to say. Don’t make him/her feel like they are alone with no one to talk to. Loneliness adds to the frustrations of a distressed mind.
  3. While listening to them, make sure you encourage them to open up more about what’s bothering them. Don’t be pushy, let them speak. If you think something they are speaking is morally wrong according to you, don’t be judgmental straightaway. Rather, try being subtle with your tone and choice of words to convince them that you are not judging them.
  4. If you see suicidal tendencies in the person, it is wise if you have a professional handle this. Such tendencies aren’t temporary and although you might feel the person is better after a nice, heartfelt talk, they might actually surprise you by doing something drastic the next hour.
  5. Never leave them alone until you are assured that such people are in the good hands of a counselor or any other professional.
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