Suicides today are so common among the youth. More or less, under pressure by parents to excel in exams, the lack of attention at home, failure to look cool among peers or online, or the inability to handle heartbreaks is claiming young lives.
The fact is suicide is the most preventable kind of death and almost any positive action can save a life. It is not just mental healthcare professionals even common people can help prevent suicides and save lives. This being so true is what is strongly believed by the college girls of Jyothi Nivas College. Let’s know more about what they actually do and how they go about this noble cause.
We are not doctors, but how can we help?
As said you do not really require medically trained psychiatrists or mind specialists to prevent suicides, in fact, anybody could be doing this like the general public. There is a particular online course called ‘Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention’ which anybody can enroll for and take up the course online. This education programme is part of the National Registry of Evidence-based Practices and Policies in the US and teaches one to identify suicidal individuals, persuade them to stay alive, and refer them to a professional. So basically the students and even faculty of Jyothi Nivas College take up this course only to help the needy. Such a soulful act isn’t it?.
Jyothi Nivas College – A noble one!
The college has become the biggest squad ever of certified ‘suicide gatekeepers’, claims Nelson Vinod Moses, founder of Suicide Prevention India Foundation (SPIF) that facilitated the training. About 900 to 1,000 people have taken the training since March 2018, of which majority are students from Bengaluru, and mostly girls with 200 students and 15 faculties of city’s Jyoti Nivas Pre-University College.
Also, the college keeps conducting suicidal preventions and mental healthcare seminars to young women like the one conducted in 2016-17 called “Youth and Dysphoria: Coping With The Challenges Of Depression In Everyday Living” which was an extremely helpful and motivating session organized by Manasi, the Psychology Association of Jyoti Nivas College. It was done in collaboration with Spandana Health Care and Rehabilitation Centre which was a one day UGC Sponsored National Conference to create awareness, educate and enhance well-being among students, professionals and the community at large.
Contributions of special girls with service mindedness!
Among the many students of Jyothi Nivas College, let me introduce Rifa Hussain who shares the story of her 15-year-old friend and said that she was showing the symptoms of suicide, saying things like ‘If you mess with me, I will do something’ and was sending goodbye texts. But Rifa thought that her friend was simply keeping upset, and would take her friend out to movies or ask her to stop being dramatic and confessed that she wished she knew her friend better then. Rifa is a Psychology student and also a squad of certified ‘suicide gatekeepers’, and the 18-year-old thinks she is now better equipped to identify suicidal tendencies after the training.
Have they been helpful?
This training follows ‘QPR’ (Question, Persuade, and Refer), rather than questioning suicidal people if they are thinking of suicides, these girls believe in asking ‘You look sad, lets talk it out’ and also learn the signs of suicide like stockpiling pills, giving away prized possessions, going off from things they generally do like say, all of a sudden disable facebook WhatsApp etc.
We again have generous girls like Sanvya Sai, Yashasvi S, and many others to prove the training helps. They had a friend who suddenly went absent from Instagram. They learning suicidal signs from QPR went on prodding her and learned that she didn’t like the college her parents had sent her to, she hated the subjects, and that she felt left out in the class. We asked her to talk to the principal and get her section changed, but she didn’t. Finally, we convinced her parents to do that for her and she liked it better afterward and she is fine now.
You can help too!
You too can get involved by taking up the ‘Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention’ online and understand the simple concepts of QPR they explain. Like there are three stages of suicide – Ideation (when a person starts thinking about it). Planning (starts making a plan) and Autopilot (decided to go for it). Stage 3 is imminently fatal but intervention can be made at any stage.
Along with understanding the concepts that are taught in the course, we simply have to show some love, concern, and talk to the person and make him or her feel somebody is there for them to take care of and finally convince them and prepare them to seek professional help or accompany them to do the same. By just this simple gesture you could save one’s life. Absolutely noble isn’t it?
Hats off to the Jyothi Nivas College girls, faculty and everybody involved for taking up this initiative and inspiring more n more young minds to engage themselves in noble activities like this.