Here’s a shocking piece of statistic for WorldSuicidePreventionDay: the world loses one person every forty seconds tragically to suicide, more than the number of deaths resulting from violent acts. Suicide has been recognized as a global health problem. The WHO says every country should adopt proven suicide prevention strategies into mental health and education programs in a sustainable way, because the good news is that suicide can be prevented.
We all have a role that we can play to raise awareness around this cause. And on WorldSuicidePreventionDay, this is our chance to show we care and that the people around us matter.
I. REDUCE THE STIGMA
Mental health is a topic plagued by stigma and fear of being judged is one of the main reasons problems never get addressed. False beliefs, half knowledge based on rumours and negative stereotype thinking can make people feel trapped and scared to reach out for help. Fear and misunderstanding can lead to prejudice. This in turn leads to feelings of hopelessness and shame. It can create a major barrier to diagnosis and treatment. We need to understand that mental illness is not a character defect. There are many reasons why someone goes through what they go through, and we can help them by reducing the stigma.
II. EDUCATE OURSELVES
The simplest thing to do would be to educate ourselves from trusted sources and also question what our own attitude towards mental health is. More often than not, our beliefs and judgments are strongly reinforced by the general thinking of society. We can get our facts right and spread a positive attitude that challenges myths and focuses on the bigger picture. Stigma drastically changes how people feel about themselves and how others see them as well.
The way we speak and interact with people can also have a huge impact on their attitude, and we may never notice it. Choose to be kind and compassionate. Days like #WorldSuicidePreventionDay can help us in this regard.
III. WE HAVE A PLATFORM, WE HAVE A VOICE
As writers, artists, bloggers and YouTubers we have a ready platform to reach out to the world and talk about things that matter. There are people listening to us, reading our posts. Why not use the opportunity?
40 seconds is a time slot enough to spark a conversation or send out an impactful message.
Whether it is kick-starting a talk with someone you trust about how you feel, whether it is short audio or video clip, or a blog post, or a positive message at your workplace, school or college, creating an aura of awareness and positivity is always possible using our powerful voice. Why should we do this? Because we all matter.