October 10 marks the World Mental Health Day. This year the theme is 'Young people and mental health in a changing world' that focuses on the adolescents and the mental health problems that they deal with. The aim of World Mental Health Day is to increase awareness about mental health and the importance of the mental health of a person. Also, the goal is to empower people suffering from mental health problems and encourage them to open up.
Mental health problems are on the rise and one major factor is the developing technology that contributes to additional pressures. This is one of the primary reasons why young people are most vulnerable to mental illnesses.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression is globally the third highest mental illness among adolescents and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15- to 29-year-olds.
A lot of young people face pressures of self image and develop insecurities of the future which result in deep guilt, shame, fear and worry. And sometimes they are not accessible to their parents to talk about the issues which eventually brings suicidal tendencies in them.
Why Do Most Young People Commit Suicide?
Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape from suffering that has become unbearable which is surrounded by feelings of hopelessness, isolation and self-loathing. The only way a suicidal person finds a relief is through death and they are so deeply conflicted about ending their own lives that they don't see any other alternative than suicide.
About half of India's 1.2 Billion people are under the age of 26 and unfortunately, India is tagged as the country with the highest suicide rate in the world among the youth, standing at 35.5 per 100,000 people for 2012. In India, the highest rate of suicide falls under the age group of 15 to 29 years.
Did you know that women are four times more likely than men to attempt suicide, and men are twice more likely than women to complete the act of suicide?
What Are The Common Misconceptions About Suicide?
1. Myth: People who talk about suicide don't commit it.
Fact: Everyone who has tried to attempt suicide has given a clue or warning even if they are indirect references. Statements which indicate serious suicidal tendencies are "You will be sorry when I am gone," or "I can't see any way out no matter if it's said casually" are among them.
2. Myth: If a person is determined to end his life, nothing is going to stop them.
Fact: The fact is severely depressed people have mixed feelings about death, like whether they want to end their life or not, till the last moment. Also, most suicidal people do not want death, they just want the pain to stop. However, the impulse to end it all does not last forever.
3. Myth: A suicidal person must be crazy
Fact: Most of the suicidal people aren't insane or psychotic, they are just upset, depressed and grief-stricken about their situation.
4. Myth: Talking about suicide to someone may give him/her the idea.
Fact: You should talk about suicide to a suicidal person by discussing it openly and extending your support by bringing him/her out of the situation. This is one of the most helpful things that you can do.
5. Myth: Suicidal people who die were unwilling to seek help.
Fact: Almost half of the suicide victims seek medical help in the six months prior to their deaths.
Warning Signs Of Suicide
1. Trouble in sleeping
2. Making preparations to harm themselves.
3. Sense of personalized hopelessness and self-hatred
4. Talking about suicide
5. Isolating themselves
6. A sense of burden on others
7. Self-destructive behaviour
8. Saying goodbye as if they won't be seen again
9. Sudden sense of calm
The Dos And Don'ts While Talking To A Suicidal Person
1. Be yourself by letting the person know that you care for him/her and he /she isn't alone.
2. Listen to the suicidal person talking and allow him to vent out his anger, despair and hatred. No matter how negative the conversation seems, it's really important for a suicidal person to talk it out.
3. Be sympathetic, patient, accepting and non-judgemental towards his/her feelings. It is important to take the person seriously.
4. Offer hope by reassuring the person that help and guidance are available and that his or her life is important to you.
1. Don't argue with the suicidal person and avoid saying things like, 'your suicide will hurt your family or look on the bright side'.
2. Don't start giving lecture on the value of life or say that suicide is wrong. Avoid giving bad advice.
3. Don't promise the suicide person to keep it under secret and not tell anyone. A life is at stake, immediately you may need to speak to a mental health care professional to keep the suicidal person out of danger.
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