STRIDE is an action research project to strengthen suicide prevention efforts in Odisha by working with law enforcement agencies.
The role of law enforcement agencies in suicide prevention is multifaceted, including tasks ranging from collecting data on suicide deaths to conducting investigations on suicide-related medico-legal cases. Additionally, they play a crucial role in connecting at-risk individuals with appropriate support services.
With the introduction of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy coupled with the legal statute on the decriminalisation of suicide outlined in the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 (MHCA), law enforcement agencies find themselves with an expanded and pivotal role as first responders in suicide prevention efforts.
STRIDE is designed to address this evolving landscape by providing comprehensive training, technical support, and guidance to enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies in various aspects of suicide prevention. The goal is to empower these agencies to effectively respond to and mitigate the challenges associated with suicide, aligning with the broader objectives of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy and the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
How are we addressing the issue?
STRIDE focuses on the following key thematic areas to achieve its intended goal:
- Enhancing suicide data quality and reporting: Recognising the need for data-driven decision-making, STRIDE works toward improving the quality and accuracy of suicide-related data and reporting mechanisms within the law enforcement system.
- Capacity building: Building capacities on various technical aspects of suicide prevention such as identification and risk assessment of at-risk individuals, safety protocols, rights-based and empathetic policing, post-incident interaction with the suicide survivors and media reporting of the incidents.
- Strengthening community engagement: Building awareness and sensitisation on mental wellbeing and suicide prevention among high-risk groups by developing communication strategies for community engagement.
- Promoting mental wellbeing of law enforcement personnel: Co-developing resources and support mechanisms such as peer-based sustainable models for care and support provision to ensure the wellbeing of law enforcement personnel.
What is the potential impact?
STRIDE is envisioned to enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies in suicide prevention by enabling system-level improvements that align with the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, 2022.
Enhancing the accuracy and quality of suicide data reporting will also play a pivotal role in informed decision-making, trend identification, and the focused implementation of relevant prevention programs.
Following comprehensive training on multiple fronts, law enforcement agencies are positioned to demonstrate heightened technical proficiency in suicide prevention efforts within their jurisdictions.
The additional knowledge and awareness gained during the project cycle will contribute to a broader shift in attitudes toward mental health and suicide prevention within the law enforcement ecosystem.
Dr Soumitra Pathare, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, ILS, Pune
Dr Nikhil Jain, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, ILS, Pune
Funders & Partners
Mariwala Health Initiative
Police Commissionerate, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack