Outlive is a suicide prevention program for engaging and enabling young people to address urban youth suicides in India.
India accounts for 36.6% of world suicides in women and 24.4% of suicides in men. Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 30 years (1st rank among women and 2nd rank among men). Suicide is a complex issue, and often there isn’t one leading cause but a combination of different factors that may be causing distress to a young person. Some triggers such as family conflicts, break-ups, exam stress, emotional and sexual abuse, physical violence, caste and gender-based discrimination, addiction when combined with lack of access to support, stigma or mental health problems can lead to suicides in young people.
We understand that one size doesn’t fit all and there is no single solution for suicide prevention. To prevent youth suicides, we require different approaches that address problems experienced by young people.
How are we addressing the issue?
Outlive is a four-year (2020-2024) suicide prevention program led by Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy in collaboration with Sangath & Quicksand Design Studio. Outlive seeks to address urban suicides among young people (18 to 24 years) belonging to marginalised and low-income groups (caste, class, gender & sexuality) across Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune.
Outlive will engage with young people through a participatory and human-centred design approach to co-develop the following three suicide prevention interventions:
- Develop a public engagement campaign on suicide prevention among young people by sharing resources (in English, Hindi & Marathi) to reduce stigma and discrimination
- Develop a chat-based peer-led suicide prevention support service and train a network of peer supporters to provide emotional support to youth experiencing distress
- Train 10 Youth Advocates to work with policymakers and engage in policy processes for youth suicide prevention
What is the potential impact?
Through Outlive’s suicide prevention activities, we expect the following impact:
- There will be an increased awareness about suicide prevention and mental health among young people
- Young people will have access to rights-based peer-led suicide prevention support services
- Young people will actively engage with policymakers and influence policy processes for suicide prevention
Where have we reached?
Over the past two years, we have held consultations and co-design workshops with over 50 young people to understand their experiences and ideas on youth suicide prevention. The group of participants included English-, Hindi-, and Marathi-speaking youth from diverse backgrounds across Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune. Based on their ideas and feedback, Outlive is developing its suicide prevention interventions.
We have developed a public engagement campaign based on young people’s suggestions and ideas. As part of the campaign, we have prepared psychoeducational resources on understanding suicide and seeking and providing support and a series of films capturing young people’s experiences on suicide.
We have developed a peer support training programme in consultation with experts. Outlive’s peer support programme trains youth volunteers to provide online chat-based emotional support to young people experiencing emotional distress or thoughts of suicide. We are also developing the Outlive Chat app, a fully anonymous, free-of-cost and safe space to connect with a trained peer supporter and access emotional support.
We are developing a youth advocacy programme and curriculum in consultation with experts and will launch the programme at the end of 2022.
Visit our website outlive.in – a repository for information and resources on youth suicide prevention.
Soumitra Pathare, Centre Mental Health Law & Policy, ILS, Pune
Pattie Gonsalves, Sangath, Goa
Sweta Pal, Sangath, Goa
Avinash Kumar, Quicksand Design Studio