CHENNAI: Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Friday said the production of cow dung powder, which has a mix of ‘poisonous substances’, will be banned in the State after reported cases of a few having used it to kill themselves.
Speaking to reporters at the Government Institute of Mental Health, Kilpauk, on World Suicide Prevention Day event, the minister said the traders would be instructed not to keep rat poison and other pesticides in visibility at their shops. He added that an order would be passed to sell such items only to people who are accompanied by someone. According to him, around 15,000 to 16,000 people die by suicide in Tamil Nadu every year, and the numbers are more than the number of people dying in accidents.
‘Parents thankful for 104’
The minister said the 104 helpline has so far reached out to around 10,000 students who wrote NEET UG and has given them psychological counselling. The counsellors also spoke to parents and advised them not to put pressure on their children, after complaints from many students that their parents were insisting them to study medical courses, he said, and added that many parents called back and thanked the government for the initiative.
Proposal to upgrade IMH
Subramanian said there was already a proposal to upgrade the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) on par with NIMHANS in Bengaluru. The vast vacant space available on the campus premises will be used for constructing new buildings with a research centre, which will be done after taking to the notice of the CM. The minister said there were plans to use the vacant land in the campus for vegetable cultivation.
What to do if someone says they’re suicidal?
- Listen to them. Don’t criticise or brush aside their feelings
- Remember that it could have taken a lot of effort for them to open up about their feelings
- Just listening and being with them will go a long way in helping them feel cared for
- Assure them that you are always available to talk to. You could also encourage them to talk to a suicide prevention
Need help? Call the Tamil Nadu Health department helpline 104, Sneha helpline 044-24640050,
or Prana helpline 1800-121-203040