Suicide never only affects the person that committed it. It also affects the other person around the victim. It is mostly found in between age group of 20 to 40years of middle class family persons including students as well. In last 20 years nearly 1lakh 30 thousand persons committed suicide in India as reported by govt. gazettes. But the actual number is much more than the reported figure. In every 40 minutes one person commits suicide. So by the time you finish this article, will lose a person. But according to psychiatrists many suicides can be prevented if the warning signs are recognized, and proper action is taken.
How to help?
Connect: Make contact with the person. Actively show shat you hear what is being said and understand that his or her pain is real.
Listen: Listen very carefully. You don't have to have all the answers - just be there and let him or her know that you care.
Understand: Express your desire to support and help him to understand what he or she is feeling. Reflect what is said back to the person. For example if he or she says: "I've tried everything, spent every rupee I have, but just don't know what else to do." You reply, "It's frustrating when you feel you've tried so many things but there's still no relief, isn't it?" Express concerns: Let the person know that you are worried and want to help.
Seek help: The person's safety is to be given highest priority, and you might not be able to handle it on your own. Talk with the person about seeking help, either through a doctor or a friend. Suicidal thoughts cannot be kept a secret.
Talk frankly: These people are often extremely frustrated over talking with friends and family. Suicidal people feel like they've been trying to tell others how much pain they are in, but nobody hears them. The key to helping is talking frankly. Ask him directly "Are you thinking of suicide? Do you have a plan for doing it?" can bring tremendous relief to someone to the subject. Assess lethal intent: If the person you are talking with confesses to contemplating suicide ask him that “does he or she have a weapon? Is it with him or her? What kind of pills he or she is taking these days? Has he or she thought about this before this moment? Recurring ideas about doing away with oneself point to a very serious threat. Ask the person to put the item.
Inform police to help you: Having ideas of suicide with a serious plan, you should contact police immediately. Because attempting suicide is a crime and hiding information about suicide by the knower is also a crime. Get a friend for help: who can be available for the depressed person is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Behave normally: Avoid buying your friend gifts to make them feel better - indeed, the gifts may make the person feel guiltier. To some, gifts are more indication that they are "sick" and need presents to get better or that people would rather send them material things instead of spending time with them. Although this is not always the case - if you feel that you must give them something, it's best if you play it safe and send them a card.
Don't be afraid that if you mention suicide, it will plant the idea in their head. If they are severely depressed, they have already thought about it. You having the guts to actually say the word will probably be a refreshing change as suicidal people tend to feel they are invisible to others. Once you openly ask them if they are planning to hurt themselves, they will know you've heard them crying out in pain and understand how deadly serious they are. Do not try to fix the situation all by yourself. Tell someone you know that the suicidal person can trust so that your suicidal friend will be connected with good help. It is not your responsibility or job to do this on your own. If someone actually attempting suicide, use any means necessary to safely stop him, and call emergency services. In this way you can minimize the rate of suicide and also you will be a true hero in real life. The nation will salute you.
M. D., Ph. D. (Ayu), (Pursuing)
Lecturer (Basic Principles), Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar (Pb).
Member of Indian psychiatric society Member of Core committee for suicide prevention