Suicide is a highly complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon. It is a major public health concern that requires a comprehensive multi-layered strategy which is intersectoral in its approach.
To commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September 2022) and highlight the role of diverse stakeholders such as suicide prevention experts, policy makers, government officials, media, persons with lived experience, and the public at-large in suicide prevention, we have organised a range of activities. These include workshops, training sessions, a panel discussion with experts, and awareness campaigns, both, in-person and online.
Follow the links below for details on each of these activities.
Awareness Campaign for Media Professionals
Imitative suicides due to sensationalised reporting on suicide is a well-documented phenomena that is linked to an increase in suicide deaths and attempted suicides. However, while suicides can be influenced negatively by popular media, the media can also play a protective role and significantly aid suicide prevention efforts.
Last year we launched a FREE ONLINE course on Reporting Suicides Responsibly: Implementing Evidence-based Guidelines for the Media. Sign up here.
To further highlight the need for responsible media reporting, this year we are running an online awareness campaign. Follow the hashtag #MediaForSuicidePrevention on Twitter & Instagram to view the campaign featuring suicide prevention experts, persons with lived experience, journalists & students.
Project SIREN Award for Journalists, 2022
Project SIREN (Suicide Reporting India Watch) is an initiative of the Keshav Desiraju India Mental Health Observatory to monitor the media’s reporting of suicide and ensure their adherence to the World Health Organization’s guidelines for suicide reporting.
To encourage responsible and sensitive reporting, every year we invite submissions from journalists who have written on suicide. The submissions are evaluated by a panel of experts.
This an annual award, the winners of which are announced every year on 10 September. Know more about the Project SIREN Award, here.
Awareness Campaign for Community Members in Mehsana
Suicide Prevention & Implementation Research Initiative (SPIRIT) is an integrated evidence-based suicide prevention intervention being implemented in Mehsana, Gujarat. The project has been working extensively along with rural communities to test and implement an integrated prevention trial with active engagement and support from agriculture, health, and education sectoral heads.
As a part of our World Suicide Prevention Month activities, the SPIRIT team conducted awareness campaigns on preventive measures across 60 villages in Mehsana, reaching approximately 20,000 households.
The team organised on-ground workshops on suicide prevention strategies using techniques of participatory rural appraisal, audio-visual messages and other collaterals to facilitate a synergetic interaction between local stakeholders, governing bodies, the public health system, and community-based project representatives.
View picture gallery.
Outlive: Hope through Action Festival for Young People, Parents & Caregivers
On 10th September 2022, Outlive organized the “Outlive: Hope Through Action” festival – a one-day event hosted at Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, New Delhi, by Sangath, the Centre For Mental Health Law & Policy, and Quicksand.
“Outlive: Hope Through Action” engaged with young people, parents and caregivers through workshops, discussions and an art and video exhibition. The event focused on sharing personal stories of recovery, hope and how to support ourselves and those around us.
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Panel Discussion: Why India needs a Suicide Prevention Strategy NOW
While suicide is a public health issue, the role of the education, labour, agriculture, rural development, and several other departments is equally important in reducing suicides in the country. Given the various social, personal, and cultural risk factors that lead to deaths by suicide or attempted suicides, comprehensive interventions and policies are required at multiple levels through the coordinated efforts across agencies and sectors.
On 20 September 2022, we organised an online panel discussion featuring participants from the field who are actively involved in the intersection of mental health, health system policy and suicide prevention.
Topic: Why India needs a Suicide Prevention Strategy NOW
- Urvashi Prasad – Director, Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office, NITI Aayog
- Priti Sridhar – Chief Executive Officer, Mariwala Health Initiative
- Arjun Gupta – Counselling Psychologist & Lived Experience Advocate
Arjun Kapoor, Programme Manager & Research Fellow, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, ILS, Pune
View the discussion here.
Suicide Prevention Workshop for School Teachers in Pune
Suicide is a rising a concern among adolescents, as it is the leading cause of death among 15–18-year-olds. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 10,730 children (below 18 years) died by suicide in 2021.
With such alarming numbers and a dearth of adequate mental health services, there is a need for community-based interventions that can tackle the issue of suicides by leveraging community resources. One such community resource are teachers. Adolescents spend a majority of their time in schools interacting with their teachers and peers.
On the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day, the ENGAGE team conducted a 6-hour long, in-person workshop with school teachers in Pune to highlight the role of teachers and educational institutes in preventing adolescent suicides in India.
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Gatekeeper Training Course for Suicide Prevention
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported 1,64,033 deaths by suicide in 2021. India’s suicide rate is currently 12 for 100,000 population – the highest in the last decade. For every suicide, it is estimated that there are 4 to 20 attempted suicides.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Gatekeeper Training as an evidence- and community-based approach to suicide prevention. Gatekeepers are individuals who engage with community members in different roles and hence are in a position to identify persons who are at risk of suicide.
The Gatekeeper Training Course for Suicide Prevention, developed by the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, is based on WHO’s mhGAP (Mental Health Gap Action Programme) Intervention Guide for Self-harm/ Suicide. It has been adapted by SPIRIT (Suicide Prevention & Implementation Research Initiative) specifically for community gatekeepers.
This is an ONLINE course and the medium of instruction is English.
Find more details here.