Suicide. Scary word, isn't it? The
mere mention of it flashes names in my mind’s eye. Robin Williams being the newest
of the lot. It’s a sad and paralyzing feeling to think that lives are lost in
this manner or rather people choose to put an end to their lives in this
'Perhaps it's the feeling of powerlessness in a relationship. Perhaps this is one of the reasons people leave this world voluntarily?'
year, over 800,000 people die from suicide; this roughly corresponds to one
death every 40 seconds.
The number of lives lost each year through
suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.
Suicide is the fifth leading causes of death
among those aged 30-49 years in 2012 globally.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death
in the 15-29 years age group in 2012 globally.
it is estimated that during 2012 for each adult who died of suicide there were
over 20 others who made suicide attempts.
Suicide Prevention Day in 2014 is significant because it marks the release by
the WHO of the World Suicide Report “Preventing Suicide: A global
I don’t know about you but just by thinking
about the enormity of this problem I have a sick feeling in the pit of my
stomach. Sick because why aren't we able to help these people? Why?
You know I’m not qualified to dwell
on why a person decides to take this extreme step. I’m not. But I do know this
that it isn't a decision that is arrived at easily. Definitely not. Just
imagine how helpless the person(s) might be to actually sever all ties with
Maybe they feel that the ones they love don't understand them. Maybe they feel lonely. Or, perhaps it's the constant need to explain themselves to their loved ones in spite of not being wrong always. Perhaps it's the feeling of powerlessness in a relationship. I don't know. It could be anything. But whatever it is imagine the lows a person reaches emotionally to jump off that cliff of life!
I was not yet born when my mother’s
cousin brother committed suicide. He was married and his wife was expecting a
child when he decided to take that step. I still don’t know what triggered
that. These things were usually not discussed in our presence. You know my
mother’s was a joint family. So many people, so many happy people living
together. But in that cacophony of laughter, in that atmosphere of mirth, no
one could notice that he was slipping away. His connection with life and every
relationship was lost and that day he left. Why? I think this is a question
everyone in the family has dwelled upon with regret thinking if it would have
been any different had they paid more attention. If only!
done can’t be undone. Unfortunately.’
This year’s theme is: Suicide
Prevention: One World Connected.
The feeling of being all alone in
this world with not a shoulder to cry on is unimaginable. And this often pushes
people over the edge. We have to make our world connected in such a way that no
individual has to suffer in isolation. And this is one of the foremost things
that needs to be done to prevent people from taking the extreme step. Look
around you and reach out to those who you feel have suddenly withdrawn from the
world. Who knows you could be saving a life inadvertently?
hands, connect and don’t let go if there’s even an inkling that the person
needs someone. Don’t let anyone go into depression alone.’
Connected also in the sense of
facilities for those suffering from depression or any kind of mental illness.
Remember it’s an illness, a condition and it needs to be treated just like any
other. So the gap between the person in need and the facilities, like counselling
centers and care providers, needs to be bridged.
the gap between the person in need and the help available. Connect!’
And then connected in the sense
that the efforts made in your neighborhood is in sync with national and
international programs. You know a systematic and connected approach that helps
with information and even resources.
all need to work as a cohesive unit. Nationally and internationally connected!’
I think we easily judge people who
take these extreme steps. We call them selfish for leaving behind families
causing ripple effects. But the pain or the reason behind their act is
something that we can’t even fathom. Their agony is inconceivable. Perhaps
instead of acting in retrospect we need to try and prevent suicides. Could be
just a casual greeting to a person or a smile that could eventually save a
life. Think about it.