World Mental Health Day: The Need To Encourage Healthy Dialogue On Suicide Prevention

TW: This article addresses suicide.

When the stars do not glitter the way you wish, look for the night and embrace the dark.

When the wind does not blow the way you expect, look for the leaves that joyously warble with the breeze.

When things do not go the way you want, look for all that you have and cherish the happiness it brings to you.

It stands beyond human capability to bring the pain one suffers into the form of mere words, but today, I choose to write about something that has always scared me – suicide.

Whenever I flip the pages of a newspaper or watch the news on television about cases of suicide, my heart fills with fear. I ask myself after reading or hearing about those cases is–Why? Does life become so unfair that it needs to be ended?

It sounds (sadly) unbelievable that close to 8,00,000 people die by suicide every year, but what is also unthinkable is the fact that more than that number of people attempt to die by suicide. It seems easy to read or write about suicide, but along with the person going through mental turmoil, the families who lose their loved ones also face the major challenge of overcoming the grief that it brings with it.

Are suicides unpreventable? No. Whenever you feel depressed, talk to someone. Your friends will hear you. The world will hear you. Being reluctant to speak might just deepen your plight. Sharing your problems may or may not give you the absolute solution, but by the best, I am sure it will reduce the burden of the problem. You need to try to be grateful for all that you have achieved–the memories, the small joyful moments, and most importantly, life.

When your heart instructs you to give up, stop for a moment and turn back. Look how far you have come and you shall surely realise that you are unstoppable. You don’t have to terminate the path you have laid your footprints on; you only have to terminate the thoughts that tell you to stop.

It’s important to realise that ending one’s life doesn’t end one’s problems. We also need to have a bit of courage, a bit of patience and a bit of optimism to handle the problems we are suffering with. Life is certainly not a garden full of roses. The thorns might prick you sometimes, but you need to give your wounds time to heal. A certain voice in your mind might say, “End it”, but it’s up to you to reply, “No, I shall continue.”

This World Mental Health Day, on October 10, and after Suicide Prevention Month (September), promise yourself that no matter how tough your life gets, you will not give up. Remember, you were born with the motive to live, not to end your journey in between. Life itself is the best gift one can receive.

You are living, and that remains your power.

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below