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World Suicide Prevention Day 2022: Mental Health Crisis, A Pandemic Within The Pandemic; Suicide Helpline Nos

Every year, 10 September is observed as World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). The day is observed to spread awareness of suicide, prevent suicides and provide the necessary help for struggling individuals. Organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), WSPD was initiated in 2003. "Creating hope through action" is the triennial theme for World Suicide Prevention Day from 2021 - 2023.

On the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day, let's talk about the silent crisis we're in the middle of. The pandemic has been brutal for all of us and has taken a toll on our mental health. Mental health concerns themselves have become a pandemic within the pandemic. In 2021, we lost 1.64 lakh people, to suicide-the highest ever in a calendar year. This will only worsen in the coming days if we don't do something.

This year, Mpower is continuing to champion the #SunoDekhoKaho campaign, and each of you can make a difference in someone's life by joining in. This campaign is centred around three things you can do to help.

1. Suno - lend an ear to people who're going through a difficult time, and be sure to listen for signs of mental health distress in your conversations with them. For example, if they've been talking about feeling hopeless, being severely moody, or even hinting about ending things.

2. Dekho - watch out for physical signs of mental health concerns - like if you notice that someone's withdrawing from their usual social interactions, has stopped taking care of their physical appearance, is experiencing sleep issues or is showing signs of self-harming behaviours. This could mean that they need help, and that brings us to...

3. Kaho - you must talk to them and encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional. As we say, it's okay to not be okay from time to time, but it's not okay to not seek help.
When someone decides to take that last resort, it could be because of trauma, mental health concerns, or a feeling that they're all alone and have no other option. But there is always a way out. There is a solution. Let me share three concrete steps we must take to tackle this problem at a systemic level.

1. We must create awareness by introducing a mental health curriculum in schools and communities.
2. We need to bolster and increase the availability of quality round-the-clock support systems like 24x7 helplines and support groups.
3. In all offices, especially in corporates, we need to work towards policy interventions such as offering mental health leaves, normalising conversations around mental health and offering in-house counselling services.

When we all work on this together, hand in hand with government and educational bodies, NGOs, community organisations, media, financial bodies, and medical service providers, we can truly begin to make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering and help them overcome their mental health concerns.

Change starts with each of us, so don't forget the three words that may help you save someone's life: Suno-Dekho-Kaho.

List Of Suicide Helpline Numbers

iCall: 9152987821 | Mon-Sat, 8:00 AM -10:00 PM | Languages: English, Hindi

COOJ Mental Health Foundation (COOJ): 0832-2252525 | 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM | Monday to Friday

Fortis Stress Helpline: +918376804102

Parivarthan: +91 7676 602 602 | 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM | Monday to Friday

Connecting Trust: +91 992 200 1122 | +91-992 200 4305 | 12:00 PM to 08:00 PM | All days of the week

Roshni Trust: 040-66202000, 040-66202001 | 11:00 AM - 09:00 PM | Monday to Sunday

Sahai: 080-25497777 | 10 AM- 8 PM Monday To Saturday | sahaihelpline@gmail.com

Sumaitri: 011-23389090 | feelingsuicidal@sumaitri.net | 2 PM- 10 PM Monday To Friday; 10 AM - 10 PM Saturday And Sunday

Sanjeevani: 011-24311918, 24318883 | Timings: 10:00 AM - 5.30 PM (Monday to Friday)

Sneha: 044-24640050 (24 HOURS) | 044-24640060 8 AM - 10 PM |help@snehaindia.org Lifeline: lifelinekolkata@gmail.com - 033-24637401 | 033-24637432 | 10 AM - 6 PM

Story first published: Saturday, September 10, 2022, 9:00 [IST]
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