By Sagar S Pandey:
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”– Ernest Hemingway
India accounts for the largest number of deaths by suicide compared to other causes of death. The country also accounts for the world’s largest death rate by suicide, i.e. two lakhs out of eight lakhs in the world. Most of the suicide cases and the suicidal symptoms are found in youngsters in comparison to the other age groups. The factors leading to death by suicide in youngsters include alcohol consumption, frequent change in residency, family pressure, academic pressure and most important of all: peer pressure.
As the child progresses to adolescence, the influence of parents decreases, whereas the child starts to develop intense connections and relationships with those in their age-group, i.e peers. They start to spend their leisure time with their peers, valuing them as the people whom they can trust, by whom they can be understood and with whom they can share their interests.
Having said that; the child starts to form a reputation for their peer (group) and gets influenced by them. If taken healthily, peer support and relation helps in building and nurturing the fundamentals of the individual.
In Indian society, the word “peer” is generally reflected in the wrong manner. Peer pressure, peer anxiety, and peer performance are such a set of words which are prescribed to the youth as an ointment, rather than giving them hope and building a support system for them.
Peer, when expanded, is Power; Empower; Educate and Reform. Thus, when given a sensible meaning in the life of an individual, it can hold a completely different explanation. On one hand; he/she does have the support of his/her friends and on the other hand, the creative mind gives him/her the power to empower the art-form, in a journey to educate him/her in order to bring in the positive reformation and transformation in their life. Thus, a peer is what capacity one holds in order to express oneself and how one deals with different adversities.
Therefore, peer relationships represent a vital source of emotional support for youth, as well as a major influence on their behaviour, attitude and knowledge. Certain types of behaviours are often manifested during this period of life and can lead to a significant impact on future mental health in later life of an individual.
The idea of Peer is to build a mental health positive community, wherein people understand the gap, and the youth feel secure when they come across a catastrophic situation. The stigma that exists has to be eradicated, and the nature of acceptance has to be brought in, to live a life with a healthy mental health mindset.
This movement focuses on suicide’s that are occurring continually and increasing day-by-day. To cut down the taboo and disbelief by becoming a peer; you can share your stories, motivation lectures, experience, and suggestions to help people and give them a reason to live.
It doesn’t take much to be a peer. You don’t know the favour you are doing to someone by lending your hearing support to someone who is in dire need. Be courteous enough and educate others as well. Let’s come together and give others a reason to live. Lend an ear and be a peer.
If you find yourself unheard, unattended too, or simply rejected for ideas or opinions you carry or are in need of some counselling, we just want to tell you that, all this while and in the future: WE ARE LISTENING. Don’t forget to remind someone else of the same and own credit of ‘saving a life’. Further, earning community tickets to rejoice little things you lost the touch of. Happy Preventing lives 😊
About the author: Founder and Writer, The Jigsaw Company.