Sisters Living Works is pleased to present our first Newsletter of 2017. Our quarterly Newsletter will provide important information about suicide prevention, best practices, training, new laws, and research. We encourage suggestions for the content of the newsletter. You can share your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you and welcome you to our first Newsletter of 2017.
In this volume we have stressed more on youth and suicide. Our next volume will be covering “What to do when someone is suicidal” with an emphasis on “Adults and Suicide.” STAY TUNED!
Youth and Suicide
Adolescence is a time of dramatic change. The journey from child to adult can be complex and challenging. Young people often feel tremendous pressure to succeed at school, at home, and in social groups. At the same time, they may lack the life experience that let them know that difficult situations will not last forever. Mental health problems commonly associated with adults, such as depression, also affect young people. Any one of these factors may become such a source of pain that they seek relief in suicide.Suicide can appear to be an impulsive act. But in reality, it’s a complicated and premeditated process. It’s estimated that 8 out of 10 people who attempt suicide or die by suicide hinted about or made some mention of their plans. Often, those warning signs are expressed to a friend. Recognizing the warning sign is one thing; knowing what to do with that information is another.
In India, youth suicide is one of the leading causes of death for individuals between the ages of 15 and 29. It is estimated that for every suicide completed, between 10 and 100 suicides are attempted. Yet people are often reluctant to discuss it. This is partly due to the stigma, guilt or shame that surrounds suicide. People are often uncomfortable discussing it. Unfortunately, this culture of silence perpetuates shameful myths and attitudes. It can also prevent people from talking openly about the pain they feel or seek the help they need.
”The incident took place in a five-star hotel in Mumbai. A 23 year-old youth checked into the hotel alone at 3 AM on Monday. He jumped off the 19th floor after breaking the glass window of the hotel building, allegedly under the influence of alcohol. The police said he left a suicide note in which he wrote depression and drug use had taken a toll on his life. He also recorded a video tutorial on how to die by suicide, which had gone viral on social media before it was blocked by the Mumbai Police.”
“The deceased student has been identified as a 19 year-old first year engineering student. He was the lone son of the family, his father said, who is based in Surat. Police said that the boy jumped from the 2nd floor of the hostel building and was found in an unconscious state by the security guard of the hostel. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead.”
“A class IX student of a government school allegedly dies by suicide at his home after getting scolded by his teachers over a ‘false’ complaint by some of his classmates.”
“A 12-year-old girl, student of a Delhi government school died by suicide at her home in Delhi after returning from the Parents-Teacher Meeting. Her teachers told her mother that she was weak in studies for which she was scolded by her mother.”
MYTH ABOUT SUICIDE
Myth: Suicidal People are determined to die
Reality: Suicidal people are in pain. They don’t necessarily want to die; they want their pain to end. If their ability to cope is stretched to the limit, or if problems occur together with a mental illness, it can seem that death is the only way to make the pain stop.
SOME COMMON WARNING SIGNS
Recent loss of a friend, family member or parent, especially if they died by suicide
Conflicting feelings or a sense of shame about being gay or straight
Mood swings, emotional outbursts, high level of irritability or aggression
Exhibiting feelings of hopelessness
The recent surge of suicides (some of which have been mentioned above) have forced communities and educational organizations in India to address the issues surrounding teen suicide and mental health. SLW is reaching out to various educational institutions along with many other communities and organizations. In this context, we have been able to help the institutes identify the warning signs earlier and reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health issues. Some of our recent works are highlighted below:
Suicide has been a taboo for a very long time. Even talking about it is still difficult for most people. But being able to talk about suicide can help save a life. Learning about suicide is the first step in the communication process. Suicide is about escaping from pain. Someone who thinks seriously about suicide is experiencing pain that is crushing; they feel that only death will stop it. Hence, “Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives” has been our motto from the day of the organizations inception. We firmly believe that one of the best practices for preventing suicide is by creating awareness among the masses, along with various mental health issues. We practice this by conducting informative educational, and interactive workshops within various communities; from Corporations to NGOs to educational institutions to various other groups across Maharashtra. Since 2014 we have touched more than 15,500 lives directly or indirectly. Every month about 4-6 sessions are conducted for a group of about 40-60 people per group.
Take a sneak-peak into some of our work carried out in 2017:
Rizvi College of Architecture has been an institution that has been creating creative and amazing architects for the past 25 years. 33 students from 2nd Year Architecture college attended the session and were engulfed by the initiative taken by SistersLivingWorks and was appreciated by them for the same.
Ramniranjan Jhunjhunwala College is located in Mumbai and is a renowned institute offering a variety of courses to its students. Students pursuing clinical research attended the workshop and took great interest in the subject. They appreciated the work being done by Sister Living Works and one student expressed her desire to volunteer with the organization too.
About 50 students, and Professors who are members of National Social Service(NSS) Club of Jai Hind College actively participated in the workshop.
During the month of February, 2017, we conducted a series of workshops for about 200 students of Jai Hind College.
SLW is planning to commemorate Suicide Prevention Day in September, andSuicide Survivor’s Day in November. We are also planning on a walkathon in December inviting people from different walks of lives to participate. This year SLW has geared up to start Suicide Support Groups too along with many other activities mentioned above.
OUR INTERNS ——————————————–
We have two dedicated interns Smruti Parab and Pooja Gulati who joined us to volunteer their time to the cause and we are delighted to have them. We are open to welcome more interns.
“I have started talking about this concern to many people through SLW and outside as well. Thanks to the team for giving me this great opportunity to address a huge audience and talk about a topic which is sensitive. Have already told my friends about it and they are joining after their exams. We also get an opportunity to showcase our skills during this internship. Thanks to SLW” Pooja Gulati (Currently 1st Year student of Bachelor of Arts- Psychology Majors)
“My internship experience with SLW is simply amazing! It has given me a new perspective of living and taught me how much important is life, not only for myself but also for my close ones.
This internship initially was just a need to make my portfolio strong, but now I am looking forward to help SLW as much as I can.I am enjoying being a part of the SLW team as it is indirectly giving me the happiness to be a reason to spread smiles across innumerable faces in India…. Many Thanks to you Gayatri ma’am and Taral ma’am as well for giving me this opportunity.”
Smruti Parab (Currently a 4th year student of Bachelor of Architecture)
PLEASE JOIN THIS CAUSE AS TOGETHER WE CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS
Your support will ensure our work is continued and reaches a much larger audience. There are many ways to support this cause.
Invite us to conduct free educational seminars on Suicide Prevention for your communities.
Become an active member or an intern by sharing your skills such as- writing skills, photography, film making, blogging, public speaking, computer skills.
Sisters living works is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to suicide prevention among women in India.