Almost 90 percent of #suicides can be prevented by timely intervention, say experts
Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, missing since July 30, is suspected to have committed #suicide. His body was found early morning on July 31, ending speculation about his fate.
Siddhartha got off his car at a bridge near the Nethravati River, near Mangaluru in Karnataka. A panicked driver alerted his family as the businessman failed to return even after an hour.
In a letter he purportedly wrote on July 27 to the Café Coffee Day board and employees, Siddhartha spoke about his financial troubles. He also talked about the income-tax department scrutiny he faced in 2017, as he sought an apology from the stakeholders for his actions.
The contents of the letter point to his struggles.
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
#Mentalhealth experts say family and friends should be watchful of #suicide warning signs and seek professional help.
Ninety percent of those who attempt #suicide have an untreated #mental ailment, Samir Parikh, director and head of department of #mentalhealth and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare, told Moneycontrol.
“There are proximal and distal factors that come into the picture. Distal factors means that the individual has been suffering for a long time. Later, when a trigger occurs (such as losing a job, financial distress) that makes them take a wrong step,” he said.
Any change in behaviour of an individual, who is already stressed, should be noted by family members, Parikh said. These changes could indicate a deeper psychological trouble.
What are the symptoms?
Experts say those with #suicidal tendencies may not fit into a textbook definition. An otherwise cheerful person could take an impulsive decision to end life.
Psychotherapists say individuals planning to end life could appear more cheerful and happier in the days leading up to the #suicide, which for them will mean an end to their worries and unhappiness.
A planned #suicide could be difficult to prevent but someone who decides on the extreme step on an impulse can be saved, Parikh said.
Since professionals spend a lot of time at work, frequent changes in mood, eulogising #suicide, a gregarious person retreating into a shell and emotional breakdowns should not be ignored .
Even casual jokes about ending lives or internet searched for ‘ways to die’ should be taken seriously.
Werther effect and Papageno effect
When it comes to triggers, the Werther Effect and Papageno Effect are most relevant. Even media reports of #suicides could trigger someone to take a similar step, Parikh said.
This concept is borrowed from a 1774 book, The Sorrows of Young Werther, where the protagonist’s #suicide was imitated by several youth in Europe. The book was banned in several countries.
Various global studies have found that relentless coverage of a renowned personality’s #suicide is followed by a spate of such deaths over the next few months.
“When the method of #suicide, place and last words of the victim are reported, this could trigger others who are in a similar situation,” said Parikh.
However, 90 percent of #suicides were preventable if people seek help, he said. This is where the Papageno effect comes into play.
Reverse of the Werther effect, the Papageno effect is when mass media and people can help prevent #suicide by offering alternatives.
This term is borrowed from the character Papageno from the 18th-century opera The Magic Flute by Mozart, who was contemplating #suicide until other characters showed him a different way to solve his problems.
How companies can help
Parikh said #mentalhealth discussions should be an inherent part of a workplace. “It is essential that the wellbeing quotient of the employee and the level of burnout is looked at. Further, school and college level should offer training on life skills and seeking help should be ingrained as a behaviour among young people,” he said.