How to prevent a suicide?

suicides

(Dan Meyers, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Priyansh Shah, a third-year medical student at Baroda Medical College, India. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds.[1]. In the recent years there has been an astronomical rise in the suicide rates among adolescents and young adults. Globally, suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15-19 year olds, with an estimated 53,000 deaths due to suicide in 2016. [2] The lives of their families and friends are irrevocably scarred and devastated even long after the death of their loved one. These astounding numbers and the inability to implement timely interventions makes suicide a grave global public health issue which needs our attention.

Various factors lead to a person’s suicidal behaviour. Cultural, social, economical and psychological factors are some of the most important factors pushing people off the edge. Risk factors for suicide comprise of  previous suicide attempt(s), mental health problems and disorders, problematic substance use, inferiority complex, adverse social media influence, job loss or financial loss, trauma or abuse and chronic pain or illness including cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Most suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries where early identification, treatment and care for such situations is extremely difficult. Lack of awareness, knowledge, skills and resources are the main culprits.

All these suicides can be prevented. We could accomplish this by a bottom to top approach which involves interventions by the community. The community members understand the local circumstances and behaviours which could help them provide holistic care. When the community is empowered with appropriate knowledge they could have a phenomenal impact on suicide prevention.

It is important that the interventions are cost effective and practical to make them applicable to all communities. We could take the initiative to work towards a suicide free community by following the steps mentioned below.

Community Meetings – Community is an inclusive term which can involve workplace, residential and educational setups under a broad lens. The first step is to form a steering committee comprising of motivated individuals. When meetings are convened it is important to form a local problem statement followed by setting broad goals and objectives. After which the key stakeholders are identified who could assist with the interventions and engagement initiatives.

Community Action Plan – After identifying the major issues in the local community an action plan in accordance with the resources and priorities is created. This helps to develop an appropriate outreach strategy by involving awareness events, suicide prevention activities, motivational talks and other community events. The interventions must be monitored and evaluated regularly to understand the trends.

Feedback Meetings – It is extremely important to have the community’s perspective on the outreach strategies. Feedback would help to understand the percolation of the interventions and hence help to improve the current strategies.

Executing these steps could be difficult and time consuming but they would defiantly be rewarding. Let us join hands to save lives.

References

[1] https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/

[2] https://www.who.int/mental_health/maternal-child/adolescent/en/

About the author

Priyansh Shah is a third-year medical student at Baroda Medical College, India. In term 2018/19 he was the national officer for public healt at MSAI – India and implemented 9 new campaigns with 200 on ground events with a total outreach of 23 500 people. He worked on IFMSA policy document on Mental Health, presented National campaign at Rex Crossley Awards at MM19 Slovenia. He facilitated SCOPH Asia Pacific Regional sessions at MM19. Is a Co-Founder of MyAlivio – a startup that aims to support elderly population to fight depression and loneliness. He also facilitated 3 national workshops on Public Health.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

False promises to Small and Medium Enterprises

Mozambique cyclones a ‘wake-up call’ to boost resistance: UN weather agency

African Peace Facility: African Union Peace & Security Operations boosted by an additional €800 million from the European Union

With science ‘held back by a gender gap’, Guterres calls for more empowerment for women and girls

Coronavirus: Commission starts testing interoperability gateway service for national contact tracing and warning apps

UN atomic watchdog chief updates governing body on key North Korean reactor

Why did Cameron gain absolute majority? What will he do now? Will he vote ‘yes’ in Britain’s in – out EU referendum?

Can Eurozone’s uncertain growth answer the challenges that lie ahead?

Bolivia: UN underlines support for ‘credible, transparent and inclusive’ election

10 technology trends to watch in the COVID-19 pandemic

Just transition in EU regions: support to people, economy and environment

UN gears up emergency food aid for hurricane-struck region of Bahamas, as death toll rises

Appalling overall unemployment in Eurozone at 20.6%

Progress on gender equality is too slow, says OECD on International Women’s Day

EuroLat plenary in Panama: control of trade talks and fight against crime

‘Millions facing starvation’ – Global political and business leaders on the economic impact of COVID-19

Teachers launch a free ebook to help children cope with the pandemic

Foreign fighters: ‘One of the most serious dimensions’ in global counter-terrorism struggle

Korea must enhance detection and reinforce sanctions to boost foreign bribery enforcement

World’s 1.8 billion youth must ‘have a say in the future of the planet’

UN condemns deadly simultaneous terrorist attacks on military camps in Mali

Mitigating climate change in Asia-Pacific could give region an economic boost

Monday’s Daily Brief: WFP mulls ‘last resort’ Yemen aid suspension, top peacekeeping awardee announced, abuzz over Bee Day, Ebola threat ‘very high’

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

One person dies by suicide every 40 seconds: new UN health agency report

UN global counter-terrorism strategy review an ‘overarching vision for the future’: Assembly President

Investment, not debt, can kick-start an entrepreneurial Europe

G20 LIVE: the EU trade gold rush continues as EU and Australia agree to launch Free Trade Agreement (FTA) live from Antalya Turkey

To protect trust in the 4IR, we need to become experts in distrust

COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of higher education

“Smoking steam instead of tobacco, are the E-cigarettes a safer alternative?”

This Norwegian cruise line plans to power its ships with rotting fish

Three ways Finland leads the world – and education isn’t one of them

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

‘I don’t like to give up’: veteran UN envoy reveals how two decades of quiet diplomacy gave birth to North Macedonia

Car bomb attack on National Police Academy in Colombia, ‘strongly condemned’ by UN

How do you get people to trust self-driving vehicles? This company is giving them ‘virtual eyes’

Family incomes stagnate in the EU; people excluded from ‘moderate recovery’

ECB indicates south Europeans can endure more austerity

The Brexit factor in the US-China trade war and other conflicts

UN recognises role of sport in achieving sustainable development

A Sting Exclusive: “Global Climate: Our Common Responsibility”, S&P MEP Miriam Dalli underlines from Brussels

Have we reached peak smartphone?

UN welcomes Angola’s repeal of anti-gay law, and ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation

Here’s how India can soar in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Syria: Urgent, concrete actions needed, to protect children too young to ‘make sense of this senseless war’

Sustainable Development Goals: making the world a better place

Burned in the Amazonian forest: Your health may be in danger

DR Congo: Strengthened effort against Ebola is paying off, but insecurity still major constraint – UN health agency

What is the UN General Assembly and what does it do?

5 ways CEOs can renew their businesses for the digital age

MWC 2016 Live: Industrial world prepares to reap digital benefits

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

The end of Spitzenkandidat: EU leaders concluded unexpectedly on EU top jobs

Why we need a new social contract for data in healthcare

In New Zealand it takes less than a day to start a business

Solutions for cultural understanding: medical students’ perspective

Africa’s Sahel must be a top priority for UN peacebuilding efforts, says commission

Earth Hour 2019: switch off your lights, and become an innovator

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s