indexToday is the tenth of  September and we are observing the world suicide prevention day.  I’m thankful that I’ve got the opportunity to blog about this topic which is a growing concern in our society. This event has been co sponsored by IASP ( International Association for suicide prevention) and WHO ( World health organization ). The theme for the event is ‘ Stigma ‘ a barrier for suicide prevention. 

According to sources nearly one million people die every year by committing suicide. This is alarming. Most of the people  who commit suicide are victims of underlying  mental illness or depression. There is a huge stigma associated with people having a mental illness even now.  The so called  ‘ educated people ‘ also display negative attitudes towards  people with the illness. We must learn to fight the stigma associated with it. If not the growing number of cases would not reduce. 

Steps that can be taken to help eradicate the problem :

* Educational programs can be conducted to educate the masses about the subject, the factors that cause it and how it can be prevented.

* Self awareness programs can be conducted

* Students can be taught about this sensitive issue in schools and colleges.

* Counselling centers, essential services and helpline numbers for the victims during the crucial moments.

 * We can do our bit today by lighting a candle near our window at 8 pm in respect for the victims or writing about the topic in blogs etc. This day and event can be used as  a platform to create awareness  to eradicate this blight from the world.

Suicide cases are highest in high income developed countries and the numbers are greatly increasing in developing countries.  The rates are higher in males than in females.

 What causes people to end their lives ? There could be several reasons why people commit suicide. I’ve just listed a few below :

1) A  person does not find an alternate solution to the problem. He or she feels completely hopeless. The diseases that cause it are depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, drug abuse, etc.

2) Economic instability.

3)  Broken relationships.

4)  Failing to perform well in studies. 

5) Being bullied or harassed at workspot,  hostile environment in school, college etc.

6) Social prejudices.

Steps that can be taken to help the victim

1)  If you spot suicidal tendencies in anyone, strike up a conversation to show that you care. 

2) Be empathetic and not judgemental.  If the patient is suffering from an illness immediate treatment should be given.

3) Parents must encourage children to be open so that they can address their problems. Parents must act as friends.

4)  The patient should get love, support and understanding from family and friends.

4) Encourage positive changes in the lifestyle.

5) Stay in touch with the person regularly.

There are ups and downs in life. We must accept that first. Problems are a part of life. The answer lies in how we deal with them. Suicide is not the answer to life’s problems. Most religions too find it unethical and immoral. Just think about the effect it has on our loved ones. Why do they have to be punished ? Remember there are people who love and care about you. Life is precious and time is the greatest healer ! Having faith in these words, let’s say ‘ No ‘ to suicide and ‘ Yes ‘ to life. God has given us this gift and only he has the right to take it.