Look Beyond The Numbers!

It was just another day…
It was a moment of decision…
It was a decision that changed lives…

To us it is a news report, actually another news report stating that some individual somewhere decided to end his/her life. We immediately make judgements about ‘it’- The act of Suicide being right or wrong, the person being strong or weak; we blame the individual, the society, the system. We are often safe in our cocoons believing we will never be in that state.
Unfortunately, the truth is far from that. As students who definitely know what ‘stress’, ‘burnout’ and ‘fatigue’ is; because in all these years of our existence, we have faced the three. We have understood that it is absolutely fine to be stressed, absolutely fine to realise that we are unable to cope with the pressure at work or home, absolutely fine to not be perfect at all that we do, despite our best efforts; we may detest being average…yet being average is not the end of life.
What happens in our immediate environment jolts us out of our comfort zones and such unfortunate incidents make us want to suddenly take action, suddenly foresee what we had not seen before. This attempt needs to be at individual, societal and institutional level.

We are now highlighting some empirical data and request all readers to look beyond the numbers, the issue is more deep-rooted than that.
Suicide means ‘deliberate self harm; an intentional determination to end ones life.’ The Word Suicide was first used by Sir Thomas Brown in 1642. Suicide is termed such when being considered/attempted/completed.
Data shows that today it is a Public Health Problem and a direct index of a disturbed society. Suicide is among the 3 leading causes of death among adolescents and younger age groups (15-45 years) (Dept. of Epidemiology, NIMHANS)
*Suicide worldwide
-Rate varies country to country
-At least 4 million adolescents attempt suicide globally
-At least 1 lakh of them die
*In India
-Every 5 minutes, 1 suicide is reported
-There is a 41.3% increase in the last 10 years
-In 2000, Karnataka had 12, 000 cases, ranking it among the top 4 states in the country
-The other 3states are Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal
*In Bangalore
-The Highest suicides are seen in the age group of 15-29 years
-Suicide among top three causes of death

Please understand that Help is available! The suicide helpline in the city is SAHAI helpline- 25497777. 10th of September is marked as World Suicide Prevention Day to highlight the efforts towards the same. Within the paradigm of this Institution, efforts are being made to ensure that we avoid waking up to another unfortunate incident. However, this will not take us far till each of us believes that the key to a complete living is with us.

Look beyond the numbers,
The horizon beckons,
Hope stays….

Source: Excerpts(Data section) from a talk by Ms. Lata Jacob of Medico Pastoral Association, Bangalore

This piece was written for the October Edition of Voices!

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