September is the month of suicide awareness. It is alarming that on average 1 person dies of suicide every 40 seconds across the globe as per World Health Organization’s (WHO) study. It’s been more than a decade since a very nearest and dearest person to me (which I would refer as X) committed suicide, leaving me dumbstruck till this age and changing my personality completely. Why? What? How? are the questions that often come in my mind, waking me up from sleep. Yes…I am a bereaver and I keep thinking if and only if X told me what was going on in the mind and if I was a little older to comprehend situations, this dark reality could have been avoided.
I found myself a lot mature after this incidence and started viewing the world from a different angle not only because I was related to X but more due to how people’s attitude changed towards my surviving family. This made me realise that despite living in 21st century, suicide is still considered a taboo especially in the culture/country I belong and people view the beveaver in a peculiar way. Instead of the people working towards the cause of suicide such as mental health issues, emotional, psychological breakdown, trauma etc. and developing detective, preventive and healing measures, most people including the educated class tend to shun the topic and hide the news of suicide. It is considered a gloomy topic which made me do research on it and its petrifying that even the world’s happiest countries including Norway and Finland suffer from a high suicide rate.
It is very important to firstly raise suicide awareness and deliver seminars in schools, colleges, universities and talk about it to public to teach people how to prevent suicide among their close ones. X in my case was suffering from psychological issue and a series of unfortunate events one after the other caused X to take this irreversible step. Its important to highlight that seeing a mental doctor is in no way different to consulting any other doctor like a skin or an eye specialist and should not be a taboo (which is still the case in few Eastern countries). Secondly, the bereaved are mostly ill-treated by other people for no fault of their own and suffer from the sorrowful path when someone close to them leaves the world through suicide. There are suicide bereavement groups and talking to people who have suffered a similar loss is a good way to get rid of build up emotions which bereavers are not comfortable sharing with other people. It took me 10 whole years to become confident to talk about my story and raise suicide awareness. Undoubtedly, there are many stress in a person’s life and even small criticism or belittling can accumulate and be the reason for someone taking their life. Hence, it is important to be aware of the fact that suicide results in a large number of annual deaths with twice the number who think of committing one, we all play a role to spread positivety and take the person to counselor if you think he/she is depressed or having suicidal thoughts as well as supporting the bereavers who have suffered a huge and shocking loss.
It is important to note that most of the times a person commits suicide if he/she thinks death is the only escape from his/her problems. Usually, they talk about their issues with family/friends and should be given help on an immediate basis as counselling/treatment at the right time can increase the probability of saving life. Sometimes, they might not communicate their feelings but their actions can be an indication of something wrong and should be offered help.
*Here bereavers are those who have been closely attached with the person died of suicide.