In today’s world, where the importance of mental health is highlighted, we also see an increase in the suicide rates across the world. According to a report by World Health Organization (WHO), a person loses his or her life every 40 seconds and by 2020 it is estimated to drop to 20 seconds. We see social media influencers talking about mental health, we see organizations running campaigns to make people aware of the situation, but are these measures enough to stop someone from taking their own life? Do we really understand what is going through a person’s mind?

We have friends who we grew up with, wearing matching bracelets saying that you are best friends, but in the blink of an eye they are gone. We have a happy cheery co-worker, who brings such a positive vibe to the office environment, one day he buys you all lunch, thank you for being amazing people in his life. The next day you learn he’s no more. Such turn of events come to you as shock because you think you know them so well, but in fact you can’t fathom the fact of what is going on in their lives. What battles they are fighting and how they decided to give up on themselves.

Compromised mental health is the leading cause of suicide globally. Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, borderline personality disorders are among the list of illness that steer towards emotional pain that gets worse over time that the only escape for some people is to end their own live. Traumatic stress is another reason why people commit suicide. The pain of losing a loved one, being in an abusive relationship or being a victim of sexual assault, sometimes push you down into the darkness so deep that one can’t find their way back into light. Especially in societies, where people are labeled for what has happened to them, the sense of alienation, the lack of a support system, makes it worse for the people to survive as they cannot find a single person to confide in.

Substance abuse or alcohol plays an adverse role in the lives of people who are battling with suicidal thoughts. The urge to numb the pain gets so bad that people try to mask it with drugs which lead to them overdosing. This is common amongst celebrities and homeless people. One suffering from chronic pain or terminal illness tends to see themselves as a burden to others. The fact that they are dependent on people causes them to lose hope of ever getting better and going back to their previous lives. People start to feel worthless as they need someone to assist them in every step that they take. People who struggle with studies are often pressured by their parents to perform better or someone who is dealing with financial crises, struggle to such an extent that they can’t feed their families anymore, tend to take their lives to end the chaos and believe that it is the only way to achieve peace from all the trouble.

It is important to understand what a person is going through in order to help them and for that one must talk to them. Don’t start interrogating them, rather be empathetic and polite and if needed respect their boundaries. Create an environment where they feel safe sharing their thoughts and emotions. In cases you feel you can’t help them, contact PUKAAR. The 24/7 available helpline will accommodate you with your concerns and promises to assist the person in need.

Written By: Izza Raza

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