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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #MentalHealthAwareness: How To Focus On #SuicidePrevention Strategies

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#Mentalhealthawareness is a crucial topic for everyone, especially in India. Here’s some data about the state of #mentalhealthawareness in India and how we can focus on #suicideprevention strategies.

India Today Web Desk

Mental health, mental health awareness, suicide, suicide prevention, how to prevent suicide

Here’s some data about the state of #mentalhealthawareness in India and how we can focus on #suicideprevention strategies.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • According to the #WorldHealthOrganisation (#WHO), the #suicide mortality rate per 100,000 population in 2016 was 16.5 in India.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported that in 2019 there were 381 suicidal deaths on a daily basis.
  • One of the pressing issues adding to the rising number of #suicide cases in the country is the lack of attention towards #mentalhealthissues.

#Suicide is a serious and emerging public health concern in India. According to the #WorldHealthOrganisation (#WHO), the #suicide mortality rate per 100,000 population in 2016 was 16.5 in India, while the global average was 10.5 per 100,000.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported that in 2019 there were 381 suicidal deaths on a daily basis, totalling 1.39 lakh deaths due to #suicide in that year.

One of the pressing issues adding to the rising number of #suicide cases in the country is the lack of attention towards #mentalhealthissues. The #stigma surrounding #anxiety, #depression, and other issues prevent people from seeking help or opening up.

When the situation goes out of hand, they may consider #suicide as an option. Unless awareness and conversations around #mentalhealth surge, the situation will be hard to change.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

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

The sorry state of #mentahealth in India

The National #MentalHealth Survey of India 2015-2016 report, common #mentaldisorders (CMDs), including #anxiety disorders, #depression, and substance use disorders are a huge burden affecting nearly 10.0% of the population.

For all Indians with #mentalhealthproblems, the treatment gap is staggering. #Anxiety and #depression affects 38 million and 56 million people respectively in the country.

These figures translate to around 150 million Indians who are in need of #mentalhealthcare but, unfortunately just ten percent of those in need of #mentalhealthcare in India can avail it.

Also, the #WHO reports that in the country there are less than 4000 #mentalhealthprofessionals, i.e. 1 #mentalhealthprofessional for 400,000 people. Due to fear of being judged, medical students seldom opt for psychiatry.

Also, often the families of #suicide victims do not want postmortems because of the fear of body mutilation of the deceased, the time-consuming nature of the process as well as the #stigma attached.

They prefer to stay away from police investigations. As a result, death by #suicide is often reported as being due to an accident or illness. The low report rate of #suicide is a big hindrance to research.

Despite the implementation of the #MentalHealthcare Act 2017 by the government, India lacks #suicideprevention strategies to combat the concern of the rising number of suicides every year.

Prevention strategies that can be adopted

First of all, governance and leadership for #suicideprevention need to be strengthened in our country. The government needs to focus on the development and implementation of national policies or strategies for #suicideprevention.

Apart from appropriate budget allocations, such measures would also require legal, institutional, and service arrangements to be adjusted appropriately.

The health ministry should shift the focus of care towards comprehensive, community-based health and social care services to help people who are at risk of #suicide. Such services should be integrated with primary and hospital care to ensure continuity of care between different providers.

Greater collaboration is required between informal health care providers, schoolteachers, and religious leaders among other community members.

Also, research capacity and academic collaboration needs improvement to focus on various aspects of #suicide and #suicideprevention.

Sex and age-disaggregated data requires to be collected and measured, while the direct and indirect costs of #suicide and attempted #suicide should be collected.

Apart from all these strategies, campaigns to reduce #stigma, guidelines for the mass media, and increasing public awareness are some of the essential steps that can be taken to address the issue of the rising incidence of suicides from #mentalhealthdisorders.

It is quite clear that more needs to be done in India to promote #mental well-being. The government must take note of the current scenario surrounding #mentalillness in the country and consider what essential steps need to be taken in the near future with consideration of #suicideprevention and awareness imperative.

– Article by Prakriti Poddar, Global Head for Mental Health at Round Glass, Managing Trustee Poddar Foundation

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