September 10, 2016


“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
 Oprah Winfrey

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I recall an incident, wherein an invitation for a session on suicide prevention, had come to me in one of the slum community.  So I prepared myself to address the boys in that community, the reason being that there were almost 7- 8 suicide among the boys in the previous year.  I reached the slum half an hour early, and was waiting for the session to begin.   

Since I was waiting for the session to begin, I felt like taking a walk around community with the social worker.  I found that at every empty building a few boys smoking, and sniffing whitener.  When they saw us, they started running away.  It took me some time to come back to the venue, as I got the intimation that the boys have gathered and are ready for the session. When I went close I found a small crowd, when I found the reason, I was shocked.

A 19 year old boy has attempted suicide by drinking acid, and in a few minutes, the boy was brought on the main road, and I saw the way he was struggling.  I along with the social worker was shaken and we tried our best to call the emergency ambulance.

There is a cantonment hospital with an emergency, but no doctors available at that particular time, somehow we managed and one of the leaders found the ambulance and the victim was taken to the hospital.

It was a timely intervention, with little delay, and the boy was saved, the social worker went and followed up and kept me updated, and in the process I found out that his father died the same way by consuming acid. He has a mother and a sister, who were beside him at the hospital weeping for him, and serving him, while he lay on the hospital bed.

I was disturbed, shaken and could never forget that sight of young boy, along with feelings of sadness I also felt a strong desire and a need to address this community.

Why talk about suicide?

Because it is the most preventable form of death; there is an alarming rate of suicide in our country; people thinking about it always make their intentions known; fear keeps us from talking about it; and it is also a taboo to talk about suicide in our culture; and the most important thing is the Each of us play a big role in preventing suicides by being the first line of defense against the preventable form of death.

What is needed is to identify the Suicide Clues and Warning Signs, for the more signs and clues you see, the greater the risk. So take all signs seriously.  In general look for Verbal clues … Behavioral clues…    Situational clues.

Verbal clues are easy to identify, by words that is used as I’m sick of life; I won’t be around much longer; Life is not worth it anymore… etc

Behavioural clues are previous attempts made, Acquiring poison, pills, feeling Depressed, hopeless, Change in behavior-mood, religiousness, Giving away prized possessions, Drug or alcohol use, explained anger, irritability, Suddenly becoming nice, Sudden emotionality

Situational clues are intense emotions from the current situation, Losing job, /person/pet,/relationship, death of spouse or best friend, especially if by suicide, Sudden unexpected loss of freedom (legal or mobility), Anticipated loss of financial security, Diagnosis of serious mental/physical illness, Fear of becoming a burden to others

Impulsivity - very intense feelings of burdensomeness, people would be better off without them; profound sense of unconnectedness, a palpable, diminished sense of belonging anywhere, to anyone; a capability for self-harm

So how do we respond for prevention? We recommend you to remember 3 simple “A”s

Ask – the question, it is very important to figure out, whether person is suicidal or not. Asking  the question is more important than how you ask, you can ask directly or even indirectly or even make someone ask, if you are not able to ask

Appeal & encourage the person- providing the telephone numbers, referring them to a helping centre or a helpline, and assure to support them help.

Assist- Best Option: Have the person go IMMEDIATELY to the emergency room/hospital with someone else; Next Best Option: Have the person call and make an appointment with a counselor immediately after speaking with you; Third Option: Get a “good faith commitment” that they will call.
Say, I want you to live or I’m on your side….. We’ll get through this..Get others involved. Ask the person who else might help. Family? Friends? Siblings? Seniors? Teachers? Administration? Anyone who can help.

Whom can you call in Hyderabad?

·         Sahayam (OU Psychological Counseling Centre) 040-27682451
·         Counsellors…G Angela- 8978191518.. Cynthia- 9014238697
·         Makro Foundation (Suicide helpline..Monday to Friday) 040-46004600
·         Dr. George Reddy (Psychiatrist) 9000988944
·         Diana Monteiro (Clinical Psychologist) 90002-34262
·         Hyderabad Academy of Psychology: 32578899
·         Roshini, Sindhi Colony, Secunderabad: 040-27904646
·         Asha Hospital 040-66752222‎
·         Alcoholics Anonymous (YMCA, Hyderabad) Dinakar 9849015203 
Others you know….
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. Phil Donahue quotes 




  1. Suicide is preventable. Unfortunately, in most cases that I've known of, the people close to the person realise only after the suicide that there had been warning signs. It's good you've given the helpline numbers in Hyderabad.

    1. Thanks Pro... its also part of our work in the centre to spread awareness on suicide prevention.. agree with you... we did prevent a few in our campus looking at the warning signs. .. a lot more needs to be done in spreading the message.


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