Spreading Happiness: Towards A New Beginning (12th September, 2020): Followed by the interplay of various psychological, biological, and socio-cultural factors, the concept of mental health revolves around our overall well-being, which affects lifestyle choices including our ability to cope with difficult circumstances, fulfil the goals predetermined in our lives, and to build relationships with others. According to the reports of the World Health Organization, ‘suicide’ (self-inflicted fatal act with an inherent intent to die) claims lives of more than a million people worldwide every year, the associated factors of which comprises mental illnesses, substance abuse, co-morbidity, fear of humiliation, deprivation, and economic insecurity. On September 10, 2020, the World Suicide Prevention Day was observed all across the globe via the implementation of various local, national, and multi-sectoral activities, and evaluation of national policies for effective suicide prevention.
The Mind and Brain Centre, University of Sydney, notes that generally one among five Australians are diagnosed with mental health issues, and more number of people under the age bracket of 15 to 44 years are likely to suffer a suicide-related collapse. If not taken proper measures, the steady rise in the mortality rates resulting from suicide will be an alarming threat to the human civilization, considering the gradual development of certain unforeseen circumstances that the global pandemic has brought about. As the ‘International Association for Suicide Prevention’ (IASP), the Australia based suicide prevention charity ‘R U OK?’, and the National Association for Loss and Grief (NALAG) suggest, one, as a friend, a neighbour, or a relative can make a difference in his society just by educating himself and others on suicide prevention, as well as by spreading awareness, particularly through creation of bereavement support networks on the warning signs and causes of suicide. Apart from the execution of integrative strategies at the community (e.g., candlelight remembrance services, arrangement of crisis intervention helplines like ‘Lifeline’, ‘CentreLink’, ‘beyondblue: the National Depression Initiative’, etc.) and systems level, at the individual level also, it becomes necessary to pay attention to the advice of mental health advocates, and show compassion for distressed people by questioning the stigma attached with suicidal tendencies, sharing one’s own life experiences, and imparting a sense of confidence and self-reliance to the troubled minds such that they do not feel alone in their sufferings. With our humanitarian imperative to give, share, and care, we can reach out to people across boundaries, and together motivate ourselves to never lose faith, and keep dreaming optimistically for a better future.
It is really important to remind us that a simple act of asking a question about how someone is feeling can make a huge difference. RU OK’s vision is a world where people are connected and protected from suicide. This year’s message is “there’s more to say after R U OK?”
Please follow four simple steps every day:
Listen (I mean really listen to the answer you are hearing)
Check in (not just once)