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Most of the people who have suicidal thoughts or feelings do not want to die. Unmanageable thoughts and emotions, feeling of hopelessness, being worthless and stigma associated with it are some of the reasons that stops individuals to seek help and then take such extreme steps.

Statistics mark concerning situation in India. According to NMHS 2016, 6.0 % of respondents have suicidal risk in a given period with 0.9% of respondents falling in the high-risk category. The risk is estimated to be highest among 40-49 age group and females. Unfortunately, the Gap of Services for suicide is very high too, more than 80% of people with suicidal risk do not receive services.

Therefore, it is very crucial that public engages and be equipped with knowledge on early identification of suicidal thoughts and feelings. Family members, friends and colleagues can be great players in early identification and prevention of suicide.

Who better than us can realize that a family member, a co-worker or a friend studying together with is not the same? There is something that we all can do and help. Learning how to spot the signs and symptoms and how to act in crisis situation may indeed save life.

With Mental Health First Aid training, we equip public with information around suicide and mental illness, to understand signs and symptoms, build practical skills on how to approach with confidence and address crisis until appropriate professional support is given.

We teach people to not be afraid to ask directly if there are suicidal thoughts and feelings. Asking directly gives a big relief to the person who is also afraid to talk about it and seek help. Stigma, myths and believes, fear of losing status, jobs and relations, lack of understanding mental health and ways to manage it are some of the obstacles towards open communication on mental health problem.

Further, statistics suggests that there is a high incidence and risk of suicide among students, front line staff like police, army, and at workplace at different level of corporate.

We at Mental Health Firs Aid India believe that equipping organised groups and corporate with appropriate response to mental health needs require a robust and comprehensive intervention. Organised sector across the globe in 24 counties is continuously benefiting from mental health first aid training and expertise which is based on evidences and systematic research.

It is time we bust the myths and stigma, take proactive steps of educating ourselves on mental health problem, build an open communication around it and be ready to help.

11 Sep 2018