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World Suicide Prevention Day 2020: Suicide Prevention Helplines in India

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Every year 800,000 people die as a result of suicide which is one death every 40 seconds.
The boiling controversy over talented Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput’s murder/suicide has been simmering for quite some time.

Suicide statistics in India

India reported about 381 suicides daily for a total of 139,123 suicides in the year of 2019. This marked an increase of nearly 3.4% suicide deaths as compared to 2018, according to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau.
Out of the nearly 1.4 lakh suicide deaths in India, 5.5% suicides were due to – Marriage Related Issues, 32.4% suicides were due to – Family Problems, 17.1% suicides were due to – Illness, 5.6% suicides were due to – Drug Abuse, 4.2% suicides were due to – Bankruptcy/Financial Issues, 2% suicides by young students were due to – Failure in Examination.

Is death by suicide preventable?

Although suicide is a deeply personal and an individual act, suicidal behaviour is determined by a number of individual and social factors. Many therapists argue that Suicide is often looked as a solution by people who are facing temporary problems in life and lack of support systems to come out of the depression cycle. But suicides can be prevented if people seek help at the right time. What does not help is the attitude of Indians towards mental health. Many a time, people suffering from mental health issues are labelled as insane. They are taken to quacks who escalate the problem and lead to depression. The society looks down upon people suffering from Mental Health Disorders. The COVID-19 lockdown has exacerbated the suicidal tendencies.
More awareness needs to be generated regarding mental health so that people don’t face stigma for seeking out help.
Many Government and Non-Government Organizations run Suicide Prevention Helplines in India. On this World Suicide Prevention Day, let us look at some of the most prominent Suicide Prevention Helplines in India.

Suicides are preventable and help is readily available

1. Samaritans Mumbai Mental health Support Helpline

Samaritans Mumbai is an organization composed of trained volunteers and professionals who offer support for people suffering from symptoms of stress, depression or have feelings of suicidal tendencies.
How to reach them: You can call them on +91 84229 84528, +91 84229 84529, +91 84229 84530 or you can email them on talk2samaritans@gmail.com.

Timings: 5 pm to 8 pm

Counselling: They provide free counselling sessions for those who need professional help. You can get in touch with them from Monday to Friday between 10 am and 4 pm to set up an appointment.

2. Vandrevala Foundation

The Vandrevala Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to provide significant funding and aid contributions for those suffering from mental health problems and illnesses in India.
They run a 24-7 Mental Health helpline to aid patients, their relatives and others struggling with mental health problems. The Helpline currently operates Pan India. Advice and assistance is available in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and English.
How to reach them: You can call them on +91 730 459 9836, +91 730 459 9837, and 1860 2662 345 or you can email them on help@vandrevalafoundation.com.

Timings: 24×7

Counselling: They also maintain a 24×7 counselling centre with face-to-face treatment for those suffering with mental health problems and illnesses in Mumbai.

3. Fortis Stress Helpline

2% of deaths by suicides in India are by students who have exams and results related stress. The Fortis Stress Helpline Program which has been an ongoing process every year during school examinations is following a necessity expressed by students and parents who have benefitted from it. Students or parents with queries related to stress, mental wellbeing related to exam can call and consult a team of Mental Health specialists.
How to reach them: You can call them on +9183768 04102 or you can email them on mentalhealth@fortishealthcare.com.
Timings: 24×7