Camouflaged amidst the glitz and the glamour of the pubs and jazzy malls, lies a worrying increase in mental health issues and suicides, seemingly caused by financial problems and addiction.
We need to ponder over these factors, which is still at a micro level but certainly needs attention.
A couple of days back, I received a sms stating that, `a man commits suicide by hanging after killing his wife at Shastri Chowk, Bhosari over financial issues.’’ In July 2019, again in Bhosari, a woman, first hung her three children to death and then committed suicide herself, again because of financial crisis of her fruit vendor husband.
In April 2018, a family of four comprising the husband and wife and their two daughters aged nine and seven were found dead in their apartment in Uttamnagar. Allegedly, the man first killed his wife and daughters before hanging himself. The reason was financial distress in his plastic moulding business, which he mentioned in his suicide note.
In January 2019, a teenaged girl in Hadapsar, who was pursuing her diploma in engineering, committed suicide allegedly because her father objected to her, using his mobile:
In June 2019, Sahil Joshi, a 21-year-old national-level swimmer who had won several medals and was studying medicine, committed suicide in his house. His last conversation was with his father who had asked him to study instead of spending time with his mobile.
In July 2019, a 19-year-old boy committed suicide in Lonikand because he scored low scores in a popular mobile game. Also, allegedly his parents and he often had tiffs over he using the mobile
These are a few news reports I browsed through but committing the ultimate act of taking one’s life is growing serious in our city which is filled with youngsters and young professionals and entrepreneurs.
As per the suicide data of Maharashtra, Pune registered 102 suicides in 2017 and 97 suicides in 2018.
In 2005, national hockey player Arnavaz Damania, launched her NGO, `Connecting’ after her son-in-law unfortunately committed suicide. In order to extend support to those experiencing emotional distress, she has a group of volunteers who counsel on matters of suicide.
Connecting has also launched a Helpline since 2008 for those in distress or feeling suicidal. The helpline nos are: 99220 04305 and 99220 01122 from 12 PM to 8 PM (All Days)
States Damania in her website www.connecting.org, “Connecting works to prevent suicide by creating awareness and to provide support to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. Connecting programs aim to create awareness for suicide prevention, reduce stigma and shame associated with mental health and suicide and to create support groups in the community who are trained to respond to mental health crisis.’’ They also conduct community counseling and educational programmes in schools and industries.
Their philosophy is SALT which stands for Support (be supportive ), Stimulate (stimulate your community to grow); Appreciate (give positive strengthening), Ask (ask in order to learn), Awareness (practice a mindful approach); Listen (practice active listening), Learn (be aware that you are constantly learning from others) andTeam (team up with people around you), Transfer (transfer what you learn into different contexts), Trust (be trustworthy and trust your community).
According to a study by Indiaspend, India, faces an 87% shortage of mental-health professionals.
There are 3,800 psychiatrists, 898 clinical psychologists, 850 psychiatric social workers and 1,500 psychiatric nurses nationwide, according to a reply by the ministry of health and family welfare in the Lok Sabha in December 2015.
This means there were three psychiatrists per million people, according to data from WHO, 95% fewer than the Commonwealth norm of 5.6 psychiatrists per 100,000 people. By this estimate, India is short of 66,200 psychiatrists. The situation may not have improved drastically.
It’s time to take expert advice and there should be large public awareness of the importance of seeking help from counsellors and psychiatrists.
#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and/or individuals quoted and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
That's Vinita Deshmukh, Senior journalist and RTI activist who believes in journalism that reflects the views and needs of the common man.
Get Real And Stay Relevant says Vinita,