VELLORE: With the observation of World Suicide Prevention Day on Wednesday, a number of measures including social networking of suicide survivors and establishing ‘suicide prevention and counselling centres’ in government offices and healthcare institutions were mooted.
Dr Zubaida Sultana, a psychiatrist attached to the Meenakshi Medical College pointed out that every four minutes a suicide was being committed in India, while worldwide suicides were occurring every four seconds.
The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day was ‘one world-connected.’ Dr Sultana encouraged youngsters suffering from depression to get connected to people and not remain isolated. In light of the fact that suicidal tendencies in individuals in the 18-29 age-group was more prevalent among the urban youth, Dr Sultana appealed to technocrats to develop mobile phone applications that could help counsel individuals with suicidal tendencies.
Dr Sultana said only 2 per cent of the health budget was allocated for mental health by the Government of India. Mental health should receive a larger share to raise awareness among the public on the problem of suicides. General practitioners and family physicians should be given adequate training to handle individuals with suicidal tendencies. Dedicated ‘helplines’ must be created in all districts, to provide counselling, she further said.
Head of a Vellore-based NGO, which organised a publicity event on World Suicide Day, said, lives can be saved through an active community that listened to depressed people. He said GHs, primary health centres and other offices should have facilities to prevent suicide. Families should encourage youngsters to discuss their worries and get counselled.
Earlier, students from DKM College for Women and Voorhees College conducted a rally and distributed pamphlets in the city.