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PEER FOR PREVENTION – Action For Suicide Prevention

Suicide, has always been a familiar term among the laymen. Ranging from glaring headlines in varied newspapers or an eye-catching news piece on TV, it has been described as a hot breaking news which always interests people. But sadly, as time passes, the situation is overlooked or overshadowed by inconsequential matters of the nation. Leading to a huge gap between what people understand or have knowledge of this mental health crisis and what actual understanding underlays Suicide as an extreme form of mental health crisis. Thus, leaving the wound caused untreated leading to more damage than cure.

The problem stands still, hanging between the sensitivity involved and suppression of the phenomenon making people curious yet scared of the term Suicide. Further, filling the pockets with judgements, subjectivity, non-acceptance and sympathy.

The alarming question which arises essentially is what goes through the mind of the person when s/he takes this strong decision that ending life is the only solution to the problem, what thoughts captivate him/her, what feelings does s/he experience. To understand the same, let me take you through an enlightening journey of what really Suicide as a mental health crisis is and how can we as individuals become ‘Peer for Prevention’ and build a mental health +(ve) community.

What Suicide really is?

Suicide is a Latin word which means the deliberate act of killing oneself, where ‘sui’ means ‘oneself’ and ‘cide’ refers to killing oneself. Thus, term reflects that suicide is killing of one self or an act committed to end one’s life.

The underlying intention of someone taking away his/her own life is not because he here feels that s/he is content with the process of their life and their wishes have been fulfilled. The person commits this act because s/he isn’t finding themselves in control of their cognitive faculty and are much affected by the trauma. Thus, to end the excessive pain generated by the that phase of life or traumatic experience s/he finds it more appropriate to end their life. This form of extreme action is or can be considered as a resultant of internal deliberations or failed attempts of expression to the society about the emotional or mental pain.

Some important facts to know about suicide:

o People who experience suicidal thoughts and feelings are suffering with tremendous emotional pain.

o People who have died by suicide typically had overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, despair, and helplessness.

o Suicide is not about a moral weakness or a character flaw.

o People considering suicide feel as though their pain will never end and that suicide is the only way to stop the suffering.

Crisis Analysis In India:

India accounts for a share of almost 2 lakh reported deaths by suicide of the global total of 8 lakh deaths by suicide per year.

With this number significantly rising each year, especially in the age group of 15-29 years. (Data released recently by the online journal Lancet Public Health, as part of its Global Burden of Disease Study -1990 to 2016)

Moreover, 'India has been claimed as most depressed country' and had been reported to have a significant percentage of 75% of the total population to being suffering from depression. Depression being one of the leading causes of suicide along with an issue of lack of awareness, unethical information, fraudulent babas or self-help guides or gurus disseminating wrongful information among people a concern to give attention to and make an action to generate prevention and cure. Along with massive burden of stigma, taboo and societal outlook to issues of the kind.

What are the major ‘Risk Factors’ involved in ‘Suicide’:

‘Every year, 200 000 people intentionally take their own lives in the Western Pacific Region, accounting for 25% of global suicides. Over 75% of all suicides in the region occur in low- and middle-income countries. Risk factors contributing to suicidal thought or behaviour include previous suicide attempts, harmful use of alcohol and mental disorders.’

The reasons overdue the individual to attempt or commit suicide can be far-ranging but it could be broadly categorised into four major categories : Physical and mental health conditions ,history of trauma, psycho-social factors and role of media. Some of them are listed below (source : WHO): previous suicide attempts, harmful use of alcohol and mental disorders.

• Abuse of alcohol, nicotine, cannabis and other drugs such that it causes disturbance to the person and the people around them

• Mental health problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and

• others

• Family and other relationship issues, such as marital conflicts, conflicts

• with caregivers, sexual, physical or emotional abuse, dowry harassments,

• Academic and peer pressure, due to expectations set by family, teachers,

• self, etc.

• Work and finance related stressors, such as unable to keep professional

• commitments, workplace harassment or abuse, financial responsibilities

• and burdens, lack of interest and motivation in chosen field, unexpected

• job loss, etc.

• Complications due to a medical procedure, being diagnosed with a life

• threatening illness, , illness which have led to permanent disability,

• Family history of Suicide, i.e., if someone in a person’s family (or close

• friend circle) has committed suicide, there can be a strong hereditary

• factor

• If a person has attempted to kill themselves previously and has been

• unsuccessful or prevented from family or friends, he or she can again

• attempt to commit suicide again.

What are the possible warning signs of ‘Suicide’:

The signs and symptoms marking an intention of someone either planning or implanting suicide are much observable in more than one way. Here is a presentation of possible warning signs divided over three categories of talk, mood and behave which as a close-one or a peer you can notice to help the person through first step and further encourage professional help to save a life.


a person ‘talks’ about:

1.Killing themselves 2. Feeling hopeless 3. Having no reason to live Being a burden to others 4. Feeling trapped 5. Unbearable pain


People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

1.Depression 2. Anxiety 3. Loss of interest 4. Irritability 5. Humiliation/Shame Agitation/Anger 6. Relief/Sudden Improvement


Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:

1.Increased use of alcohol or drugs 2. Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods 3. Withdrawing from activities Isolating from family and friends 4. Sleeping too much or too little 5. Visiting or calling people to say goodbye 6.Giving away prized possessions 7.Aggression 8.Fatigue

Step towards Prevention of Suicide - Become a Peer for Prevention:

Yes. The Prevention is possible and its possible through you. You can save a life by following this step-to step guide presented as a part of Mental Health First Aid for Prevention of Suicide. Let’s take a empowering action to strengthen oneself, encouraging strength in others. Hence, leading to development of a mental health +(ve) community.

1. Become a responsible human and encourage two way communication with the individual. This can be done by :

• Be respectful and acknowledge the person’s feelings

• Ask the person in a direct manner if they have been having suicidal thoughts

2. Don’t make outright judgements, Listen to understand the ‘issues’ concerning the individual, make a sensible response. This could be achieved by :

• Avoid being harsh or judging him for having suicidal ideas

• Avoid giving them advice about what to change in their lives or thoughts, unless they ask for the same

• In that moment, avoid making attempts to make them feel better

3. Give them Assurance and Generate Hope in them. This can be done in the following manner

• Instil hope that their problems can be addressed in a constructive manner with a mental health professional or a supportive family member and coping skills can be strengthened.

• You can do be supportive and help them acknowledge how difficult their current state is for them.

4. Make them comfortable with idea of seeking help and encourage their reformation through positive reinforcements. Also, make mandatory follow ups.

• Referring the person to a mental health professional at the earliest, especially if an intent to harm self is strong, or has already been attempted

• Once treatment is started, continuity in treatment is important till the person feels healthy and stable again in their life, because if a person has shown suicidal behaviors, it often makes them vulnerable to attempting these again unless its underlying causes are dealt with.

Community Development and Mental Health interventions by PSY-Fi: For A Healthy Mind:

Initiatives such as ‘Peer for Prevention - A Mental Health Intervention for Suicide Prevention’ organized by PSY-Fi, a Mental Health Education Organization founded by Ms. Jigyasa Tandon (Mental Health Educationist, NIMHANS and a Counselling Psychologist) works as positive measures in the direction of creating a more understanding and empathetic community with more informed and educated ‘peers’ who are equipped well to provide Mental Health First Aid to the people around them.

It covered paramount milestones such as: understanding the meaning and the leading cause of suicide, to help people understand the warning signs and how they can intervene and prevent someone from committing suicide. The talk seminar also reflected upon the role of counselling in combating against suicide, with an understanding of the legal and practical implications of Section 309, IPC and the Mental Health Care Act 2017.

The term ‘Peer’ was emphasised and restructured in a positive way. The occasion’s focus would be to create a positive network amongst the community of mental

health professionals and organizations, thereby taking a step forward towards building a mental health positive community.

Article submitted by:

Jigyasa Tandon

Mental Health Educationist, NIMHANS

Counselling Psychologist and Founder, PSY-Fi: For A Healthy Mind

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Mental Health Educationist, NIMHANS, Counselling Psychologist and Founder, PSY-Fi: For A Healthy Mind


Mental Health

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Do you think the world is going crazy or going mad? If you do, then you are not the only one who thinks this way. Most people feel they are living in a world of confusion and chaos. If you look around you, that is the reality you will see. But what you see is the reflection of the individual's mind.

You do not realise that when we are born, it is this world of chaos and confusion with distorted perceptions we are born into. No matter which culture or society you are born in, you will grow up thinking in the same way as the people around you with the beliefs and traditions of your society. The environment around you conditions you. So right from the word go no matter in which culture you grow up in, you will have to admit your perceptions of reality will be distorted. Therefore, to assume that we are all somehow normal and sane would be highly presumptuous.

In the medical profession, we recognise you as a normal person because you behave normally and do not disturb people around as you fit in with a pattern of behaviour which the majority considers acceptable. But if you were to act in a way that will cause harm to you or others around you, you will be labelled and treated for some mental illness. They will classify and categorise you from the list they have. They will label you as suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADHD etc. You will be counselled and given appropriate medical treatment. Like most people, you will think that at last the doctors have found something wrong with you and you are receiving treatment for your condition that will cure you.

If you think this way about your mental health, I am afraid you are mistaken. A diagnosis of your mental health problem does not mean we have a cure for you. It is just a label. It is you who can cure yourself by clearing up your perceptions.

Once given a label, many people try to justify or find an excuse for their behaviour. One might say "I am an alcoholic. I could not help myself. Alcohol made me do it." "I suffer from a mental illness; therefore, I cannot work anymore." etc. The list goes on.

It means the diagnosis of your mental health problem has done nothing for you. You are no better off before or after the diagnosis. Now if you want to help yourself and cure your mental health problem, you have to develop some insight into your mind. That means you have to start thinking for yourself. You have to start looking at yourself and the world around you.

To test yourself whether you have any insight into your mind after the doctors have labelled you, you have to ask yourself "Was my behaviour acceptable? Do I need to improve?". If you think there was nothing wrong with your behaviour, then, of course, you have no insight and therefore have no problem with yourself. You will no doubt, become a problem for others.

So, if you have some insight, you should ask this fundamental question to yourself, "Do I have to be this way for the rest of my life? Surely there must be a way to enjoy one's life no matter what happened in the past". If you can say "Surely there has to be a way", then you may be well on the way to full mental health recovery. It means you have some understanding of your problem and will be able to change your perceptions and thus your thinking.

In my mind, I regard mental illness only as a disorder of perception. It is the degree that determines the level at which it becomes a clinical disorder of behaviour and action.

To treat any mental illness, therefore, all we have to do is to straighten out our distorted perceptions. Our perceptions influence our thinking. If you distort them, they lead to crooked thinking. Crooked thinking leads to adverse actions, which, in turn, become the basis for any mental illness.

As one can see the medical treatment is only an adjunct to counselling, psychotherapy etc. which are therapies directed mainly at correcting a patient's perceptions. So if a person does not have any insight, what other option would one have? One would be stuck with only medical treatment.

Hence if we are to improve the mental health of society, we have to look at ourselves and examine how we can go about correcting our distorted perceptions.

Part of the reason for an increasing incidence of mental illness is the bureaucratic thinking that prevails in our legal system, governments and institutions. In bureaucratic thinking, one always goes by the letter of the law, not the spirit of the law. One is not allowed to use reason or common sense. There are no moral or ethical considerations. One is virtually intellectually handicapped. Since there is a set rule applied in managing a problem, we are stuck with it. One is obligated to follow the rules. There is no choice. If one ignores the rules, one will get blamed for whatever happens. And when one follows the rules, it does not mean that the action is necessarily correct.

A perfect example of this would be the present Coronavirus outbreak in China and how it is affecting the economies of nearby countries and the world. It has trapped Governments into a bureaucratic response which creates damned if you do and damned if you don't type of situation. It is politics for governments to show they are doing something positive to solve a problem. The media, of course, is having a field day making a big deal by dramatizing the whole situation and making people even more anxious and terrified.

But let us look at the facts. Coronavirus is a viral illness. Like the Influenza virus, it kills. There is no real cure for any virus illness. The Coronavirus spreads like the flu virus, so the precautions one takes, and the treatment one gets, are the same as if one had a flu infection. The outcome will always depend on how strong one's immune system is. All virus diseases tend to spread in the community until we develop some immunity against it. Not all people who have tested positive for Coronavirus infection have died. Then again, not all people who had tested positive for the Influenza virus in the past had died either. There have been instances where people were treated for Influenza virus infection on a cruise ship, and yet no quarantine was applied. So ask yourself, what are you getting all worked up about?

As one can see, bureaucratic thinking has great limitations. It is the bull at the gate type of approach. It is not rational thinking. Can you see how it can create anxiety and a mental health problem for someone who cannot think clearly? Please learn to straighten out your perceptions by acquiring some self-knowledge. Read "The Enchanted Time Traveller - A Book of Self-knowledge and the Subconscious Mind", and learn how to become the master of your destiny. Visit Website: Http:\\theenchantedtimetraveller.com.au

The use of CBD dates back to 2700 BC. From the Chinese using cannabis for treating constipation, malaria, gout, and more to the Indians taking advantage of its anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsant properties, cannabis is deemed as an omnipotent plant.

A French psychiatrist Jean-Jacques Moreau de Tours tried cannabis for several mental disorders. He believed that the plant is hypnotic, analgesic, and anticonvulsant.

But the biggest question is: Can CBD really be good for mental health? Read on to find out more about the relation between CBD and mental health.

What is CBD?

Cbd For Mental Health

CBD is only one of the more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis. Of these cannabinoids, two are the most prominent. These are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

THC is the component that makes consumers “high.” It’s the typical feeling when consuming or smoking cannabis wherein consumers have this “floating” phenomenon. And that’s how the psychoactive effect of THC is.

On the other hand, CBD is the cannabinoid that doesn’t induce any psychoactive effect. While both cannabinoids carry a myriad of health and mental benefits, the latter is more inclined to mental health. And this is because of how they work with the human body’s endocannabinoid system.

CBD and Endocannabinoid System

Each and every human has a natural system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is extremely crucial for the body’s physiological processes. The human body innately produces its own endocannabinoids which work with several receptors and neurotransmitters.

These receptors and neurotransmitters are found throughout the human body and are responsible for making sure everything is working in topnotch order. For instance, apoptosis is a physiological process that is the control of cells through elimination. When this process isn’t regulated, abnormal cells such as cancer cells develop.

This is where the cannabinoids come into play. The body’s natural cannabinoids play an important role in keeping these functions modulated. That said, when one takes cannabis, the cannabinoids in it work with these receptors as well. CBD, however, doesn’t directly intercept these receptors. That’s why this component doesn’t make consumers high.

However, CBD has been a go-to for some with mental issues. Although more research is needed to prove the correlation between the two, a review that involved 83 eligible studies claimed that there is a very small improvement that THC and CBD relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Yet a lot of people use CBD for their mental issues. Below are some benefits of CBD for mental health.

Benefits of CBD for Mental Health

CBD for Depression

Further studies and evidence are needed to back up the claim that CBD is a treatment for depression. Depression is one of the leading causes of suicide. And a lot of people take advantage of bmwo coupon alternatives for their medical marijuana needs for the sake of alleviating depression.

According to a study that involved animals, there is good interaction between the 5-HT1A receptor and CBD. This is due to the anti-depressant and anxiolytic properties of CBD.

CBD for Anxiety and Quality Sleep

Not having enough sleep could take its toll on the human physical and mental aspects. A study was conducted to determine the effect of CBD on anxiety and sleep. Experts monitored 72 participants with concerns of anxiety and poor sleep over the course of one month.

Anxiety for 57 patients decreased while sleeping patterns for 48 patients improved within the first month as well.

CBD for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that impacts how a person feels, thinks, and behaves. Schizophrenic people may take advantage of CBD to lessen Schizophrenic symptoms due to their antipsychotic properties.

Although CBD doesn’t cure Schizophrenia, studies show that it improves cognitive functions. After a span of six weeks, the participants diagnosed with Schizophrenia showed lower levels of psychotic symptoms.


Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common psychiatric condition after one undergoes a traumatic experience. And due to the therapeutic effects of CBD, it has been known to help cope with PTSD.

Additionally, one study has been conducted to show the relation of the ECS with emotional memory processing. That means, CBD can greatly induce positive effects on a person’s emotional wellbeing, which in turn, mitigates PTSD.

Final Words

Before integrating CBD into your daily life, it’s always recommended to consult your doctors for the right dosage. CBD may interact with other medications, hence, it’s better to prevent any adverse effects so as not to worsen the situation further.

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