, 12 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD. Let me tell you abt some myths around #suicide & how you can save lives. #suicideprevention
MYTH 1: Talking about suicide is a bad idea, as it may be seen as encouragement
FALSE. Rather than encouraging suicide, talking openly helps prevent suicide. 1/n
MYTH 2: A person who is suicidal is determined to die
FALSE. Au contraire, suicidal persons are often ambivalent about dying. Emotional support at the right time can help prevent suicide 2/n
MYTH 3: Most suicides happen without warning.
FALSE. Most suicides are preceded by warning signs, either verbal or behavioural. Many will talk to friends & relatives or doctors about wanting to die. Don't ignore it. That brings us to...3/n
MYTH 4: People who talk about suicide do not mean to do it
FALSE. People who talk about suicide may be reaching out for help or support. They may feel there is no other option. You can help. Sit down. Listen to them. Offer help. You will save a life 4/n
MYTH 5: Once someone is suicidal, they will always remain suicidal.
FALSE. Suicidal thoughts are not permanent. They are usually short term and situation specific. Many individuals with suicidal thoughts & attempts go on to live a long life. IF they get support at right time 5/n
MYTH 6: Only people with mental illness are suicidal.
FALSE. Especially in India, where research shows only ~ 50% have a pre-existing mental illness. People with mental illness are not necessarily suicidal & those who die of suicide do not necessarily have a mental illness..6/n
What you can do to help:
DO: If you have time, volunteer for a #suicideprevention helpline. @connectingngo in Pune, #Sneha in Chennai for example. These helplines are run by dedicated volunteers with little financial support. 7/n
DO: If you are a teacher, community leader, policeman, social worker, HR staff or a manager - do a gatekeeper training course. It will improve your knowledge & skills to identify ppl at risk, determine level of risk & refer them for treatment. 8/n
DO: If you are a journalist, responsible media reporting has been shown to reduce #suicides. Avoid detailed description of method, sensationalism or glamouring, avoid oversimplification, educate ppl abt suicide & treatment, provide info where to seek help 9/n
DO: remember that 1/3 of suicides are associated with interpersonal/family violence & alcohol is implicated in another 1/3 of cases. Reducing family violence & harmful use of alcohol can also reduce suicides. 10/n
DO: Remember that depression is treatable. Ppl can make a full recovery & live long fulfilling lives. If you know someone who is depressed, encourage them to seek treatment. It is free in public hospitals across the country. 11/n
FINALLY DO REMEMBER : Suicides are preventable. Stop being fatalistic about suicide. Encourage your MP/MLA to push for a national #suicideprevention strategy. 250,000 Indians need not die unnecessarily every year. END.
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