World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is organized by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) on 10th of September. The day has been brought to light across the world  by various events conducted by WHO, IASP and WFMH (world federation for mental health)

The intent is very clear, eliminate the stigma around mental health issues and raise awareness to prevent the consequences of mental health related issues. The problem is much bigger than we realize.

Its OK not to be OK. One can and should reach out for help and speak up when in distress. As individuals we have the responsibility to speak to people who we feel are facing any such issues. Provide support in any which way possible by striking the right conversation. The simplest help one can do is to listen,just hear them out. Be a good listener, give the person facing issue some space to talk. If they find it difficult to talk in first instance, just let them know you are there any time, whenever they are ready.

I would recommend  each one of us to go through some useful content like the book “When All Is Not Well: Depression, Sadness and Healing – A Yogic Perspective” It is not necessary that each one of us will go through difficult times that may lead to depression, but as a compassionate responsibility one must be ready to help out people around us if they come into such state of helplessness. Its like learning mental health first-aid. You must be prepared to calm down the storm at the moment when its raging through, you must be ready to extinguish the fire of sadness and depression when its burning at its peak.

Although in some cases clinical and expert attention may be necessary once the moment passes, where one must try to put the person in contact with trained professionals and counsellors. One very good initiative I am aware of is the helpline on os.me (read).

In general, encourage people around you to take up habits that help them keep calm, that reduces anxiety levels. There is no doubt that a good stint of 5-6 weeks with such practices helps one to channelize once thinking process so that one develops the mechanism to not only cope up but also shoot down any depressing feelings or thoughts of anxiousness. I have found the “Be Calm” and “Be stress free” exercises on the Black lotus app very useful. I look at it like building immunity for tougher times. It is as important as physical exercises.

Build the awareness in your community to speak up when all is not well. Be open to #LetsTalk

Remember its OK not to be OK.

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rajesh kodukula

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