According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), suicide has emerged as the third largest cause of death among those between 15 and 45 years of age. Numerous issues and situations have changed in the last two or three decades resulting in an increase in suicide attempts, especially in Tier-1 cities that are speeding towards physical comfort while causing a lot of mental discomfort and stress among people, a totally appalling trend.
Narrowing down to one single cause for youngsters considering suicide is quite impossible. Our youth have over time lost resilience against rejections and failures and the quality of their relationships and healthy communication within and outside families have also seen a downward trend. The ever rising spirit of indulging oneself or being forced into being a part of cut-throat competition is to be blamed as well.
It has to also be noted that self esteem issues are arising as never before with expensive lifestyles taking over the way we live. Our youth are now part of a generation of facades of happiness for the sake of social media, which leaves them out of options of people they can turn to for help owing to the stigma attached to mental health. This can be especially hard in adolescence.
It is essential that we move from distress towards de-stressing to avoid the fatal effects of the former. The primary need is to be aware that physical and mental health ought to be a top priority for all individuals. Planning a career in a manner that caters to an individual’s passion rather than the market demands is equally important. One should always ensure that quality time is spent with the family on a daily basis and have a good network of mentors and seniors for guidance and support.
Youngsters today need to realise that falling in and out of love are important lessons of life and not the end and be all of existence. Being optimistic without losing hope while believing in the unique identity, strengths and weaknesses of one’s individuality, is another major way to keep oneself on track during the pursuit of one’s ambitions.
While the work of Suicide Prevention India Foundation is designed to reduce suicides in India, a lot of work still needs to be done at the community level to provide support to those in distress and spread awareness about mental health. Once help is sought, being in touch with friends/professionals contacted for frequent follow-ups is as important as all the other steps taken.
(The author is a Clinical and Counselling psychologist)...