Suicide is one of the leading public health problems in the world.
According to the World Health Organization, close to 800,000 people commit suicide each year, which is one person every 40 seconds. It is the second leading cause of death amongst young people worldwide (aged 15-29). 79% of suicides occur in low and middle-income countries.
These are not just stats, these are people who are suffering in every society, and nobody is listening to them. Suicide is not only a mental health problem; it is an emotional problem, a psychological problem, and a lifestyle problem.
People are driven towards suicide when they find all doors closed, nobody to share their emotions with, nobody to hold hands, and nobody to talk to.
This is a reflection on our present-day society. We have become selfish, egoist, self-centred, greedy and disconnected in this so-called highly connected world.
We are connected only by technology and disconnected by emotions.
What is the use of this technology if it can’t save lives, what is the use of so many messengers when it can’t connect hearts? It is sad to say, but the world is driven by technology now than humans. As it is humans have drifted away from nature, if now we all get away from our fellow human beings, imagine the kind of life we all are living. This is a new kind of slavery – technology slavery, digital slavery or Internet slavery and mobile slavery, name it anything. This has made all of us less human than what we were 20 years ago. Suicide is just one of the repercussions of this lifestyle.
Social media is flooded with pictures and posts across the globe, showcasing life as if we were never this happy in before. For God’s sake, do not post a smiling photo of yourself if you are not. Do not post yourself having rich food with friends if you are not enjoying it. It is just a fake world you are living and showcasing. There is only emptiness.
Preventing suicide is not just an action to be taken by health workers. It needs to be tackled at various levels starting from effective governance, strengthening research and information system, improving social care services, advancing mental health care, creating positive work culture, and supporting family members and friends. Everyone plays a crucial part.
Raise awareness and provide the right information – This has to be a very collective role. People in power are responsible for raising awareness regarding the magnitude of this problem and share solutions for dealing with it. It could be head of the department of a college, CEO of a company, school Principal, everybody needs to talk about it openly.
Strengthen the social support system – Encourage and Support people in the family. Promote health child-parent relationship. In Schools, stress should be laid on life-skill programs; engaging in activities to improving mental health. Improving the work environment is imperative to make it safe and supportive. Professionals spreading toxic work culture needs to be dealt with strictly.
Promote Mental Health – The world has been neglecting mental health for a long time now. To deal with these unfortunate incidents of suicide, it is essential, we deal with it as a human rights issue.
Engage and talk – Connecting with each other is everybody’s responsibility. Talk to as many people as possible. This helps in many ways. People get a definite sense of identity, they can manage their emotions, their thought process, inculcate the habit of learning, and build new relationships.
Suicide prevention programs should be actively implemented across the globe. Action to combat stigmatization, discrimination, or mental health disorder should be taken stringently. Preventing one suicide can save a family, circle of friends, the community and the society.