Srinagar: Kashmir-based physician, renowned educator and columnist Dr. Tasaduk Hussain Itoo Saturday said that the rising incidence of suicides among people in general and youth in particular is emerging as a grevious public health cum mental health concern that needs serious attention and redressal.
He said that the suicidal ideation has been shown to be linked to a higher risk of death by suicide, and openly disclosing suicidal thoughts or plans to friends and family or through social media platforms– is becoming a serious challenge. “Therefore, there is a serious need to track suicide risk in real time together with a better understanding of the ways in which people communicate or express their suicidality”, he said.
He said that recognizing the warning signs in people who have suicidal thoughts and ensuring to them positive support network is the moral responsibility of everyone of us. “Common warning signs of suicidal ideation include increase in use of substance abuse, drugs, or other substances, feeling hopeless or purposeless, feeling angry, increased recklessness, feeling trapped, isolating oneself from others, feeling highly anxious, sudden changes in one’s mood, losing interest in things one used to enjoy, change in one’s sleeping habits and/or appetite, feelings of guilt or shame etc”, he said.
He said that the two core risk factors responsible for rising incidence of suicides among youth are social evils like drug addiction and emerging health issues like mental health illnesses.
Mental health issues are becoming a grave concern and maximum percentage of people do suffer one or other form of mental health problem during current times including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and many other illnesses.”
He said that mental health illnesses are a crucial provocative factors responsible for multiple social and behavioral problems including development of suicidal thoughts “Drug addiction is one of the major concerning social menaces that needs an effective redressal, besides other addictions”, he said
He said that the drug abuse has been a factor in creating voilations of multiple – from domestic voilence, sexual violence, violence of the community to violence of personal ambitions including emergence of suicidal thoughts besides posing multiple health risks.
“Reluctance to drug abuse could be a reforming initial step to change its course for the benefit of society. Besides working on thoughts of people addicted to drug abuse, positive motivation, vocational guidance, educational-deaddiction counselling could be revolutionary steps to alleviate them from such abuse”, he said.
He further said that mass health awareness sessions should be conducted in the community regarding drug abuse in general and alcohol abuse in particular.
He said that the stigma associated with mental health issues is unfortunately a big challenge and we need to put our efforts best in breaking this stigma so that people who suffer – shall reveal their illnesses and ensure help.
“Educating the people properly on risks for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, providing screening tools to identify suicide risk and/or mood disturbances, using evidence-based interventions, including collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams, to manage depression and other mental health issues– shall serve the purpose” he said.
“Every sector of the society has a crucial role to play in addressing the rising incidence of suicides — including Government, civil society, NGO’s, religious scholars, teaching community among others”, he added.