Prevent Suicide As Mental Health Professionals

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“Therapy with a suicidal person is an experiential voyage into mental pain. Throughout this voyage, patient and therapist relive experientially a painful inner life and an external difficult situation”

Orbach, 2001, p. 183

96.9% of therapists meet at least one client having thoughts of suicide. Dealing with a suicidal individual is one of the most challenging and anxiety provoking situations for a healthcare professional. Death by suicide among clients has been consistently reported as most feared treatment outcome.

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With 2,30,000 suicides every year in the country, one Indian dies by suicide every two minutes, and for every suicide, there are 25 who make an attempt to die, with 100 actively thinking about it. As a mental health professional, substance abuse counsellor, general physician, psychiatric nurse, school/college counsellor or even a layperson you are in a key position to save a suicidal person’s life.

In a population of 1.2 billion, where at least 5 crore Indians struggle with a mental illness, there are only 4000 psychiatrists i.e., one psychiatrist for over 13000 patients. The severe shortage of expert trained mental health professionals is a major contributor to the 83% treatment gap that exists in the country. You can help CHANGE these numbers.

In 2016 it was evidenced that training in suicide prevention not only enhances comfort in working with suicidal clients but also decreases the stress and anxiety faced by professionals. Suicide Prevention Training programs like Gatekeeper Training includes the initial screening and suicide risk assessment skills as well as Advanced Suicide Risk Assessment Training and Management skills. We believe these courses will equip you with the tools you need to foster an atmosphere of safety and support to the clients struggling with suicidality and prepare you to handle clients in acute suicidal crises.

Counselling suicidal individuals

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Increases stress and anxiety levels among the professionals
Causes low self-esteem and feelings of incompetence when unable to help suicidal individuals
Causes them to reject their patient by either referring them to someone else or ignoring the suicide warning signs.
Sometimes, therapy is prematurely ended to avoid dealing with the life and death situation
Causes feelings of hopelessness and helplessness towards clients who self-harm

Although the therapeutic collaboration with such individuals is extremely emotionally demanding and most times difficult, they cannot be left untreated. With your help, we can prevent suicide in India.

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Suicide Prevention India Foundation is NOT a suicide crisis helpline. The content has been written by mental health experts but is not a substitute for medical advice. Use all resources at your discretion.
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I am FEELING SUICIDAL
I am a SURVIVOR OF SUICIDE LOSS
I know SOMEONE SUICIDAL
I am a SURVIVOR OF SUICIDE ATTEMPT