September– The Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

I opened today’s newspaper to find a headline that almost leapt out at me, as if trying to urge me to write something I had been putting off for a couple days now.

September happens to be the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

I had mulled over the idea of writing a post on suicides since the beginning of this month, but kept putting it off. I just couldn’t find the right tone to express my thoughts on the matter. But, today’s news changed it all.

Syed Nasser Hussain, a resident of Deonar, Mumbai, was returning home from work from Vashi. When on the Vashi bridge, he spotted a girl trying to jump off the bridge into the creek below. Syed Hussain got off his scooter, hurried to the girl and pulled her back in the nick of time.

He then spent an hour counselling the girl, asking her what the matter was, why she had decided to take such a drastic step.

Hearing her story about a heartbreak, he then counselled her and took her to her home. On reaching her home, they found the house locked as her parents had gone to a hospital. Taking the keys from her neighbours, Syed left the girl inside, and asking the neighbours to keep an eye on her, left the place.

While driving back, though, he had this strong feeling that he should not have left the girl alone at home in this condition, and so, he turned around and drove back to her house. On reaching, when he tried to open the door, he found it locked from within. With the help of her neighbours, he broke open the door only to find his intuition right.

The girl had hung herself from the ceiling fan.

They untied her off the fan and rushed her to a hospital. Yesterday the doctors informed the newspaper reporter that the girl was out of danger.

The girl’s father thanked Syed Hussain profusely.

Syed Hussain was a stranger to the girl. Yet, when he felt something amiss, he decided to help her. And, in doing so, twice in a night, he had saved a life. A precious life which would have gotten wiped out had Syed not stopped his scooter that night; a death that would have left behind heartbroken parents with nothing but memories of their only child.

In our hectic lives, how often do we stop and pause to think about what someone said or did that felt abnormal; something that seemed to be a silent cry for help, but in not as many words?

Do we even give a moment’s thought about what the person might have implied?

Each of us faces hardships in life. And, let’s not even get started on the kind of hardships that we are subjected to. We fight right till the end, with every ounce of our strength we can muster. Sadly, there are some who are left with no willpower to continue fighting; no support from the world and no desire to even keep running towards the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Some just prefer to end it all rather than keep fighting and keep living a miserable life.

And, with the loneliness and the depression tormenting them night and day, and with no one to offer them the necessary support, they give it all up.

And, end up being just a statistic.

The Suicide Awareness Campaign might not find a better mascot than Syed Hussain, who went out of his way to save the life of a stranger. Not only did he save her once, but heeding his intuition, he reached out to her twice. He counselled her about not giving up because some idiot broke her heart.

To quote Syed Hussain, “I have had long conversations with her dad. She needs to be taken care of. I have told her he must support her to complete her education. She must grow into a confident woman who does not see unfaithfulness of a man as the end of the world.”

How many of us would leave aside our work, our busy schedules, if we were to spot someone trying to end their life? How many of us would even pay attention to what someone says in a moment of despair?

All the person needs is a patient ear; someone who holds their hand and asks what the matter really is. All they need is to talk their heart out to someone who will just hear them out, not judge them, or give unsolicited advice without knowing the entire story. Someone who will read the real meaning behind their sad smiles and their artificial laughter and their overeagerness to appear “normal”, when in reality, they are crumbling from within.

Do we have it in us to be that someone who listens, really listens, and doesn’t let go just because the person in front of us won’t open up about the pain they suffer?

it really takes very little time to help out people in distress. It takes just a few words to heal a sad, broken heart. And, it takes just a few moments to save a life from becoming a statistic.

All you need to do, is reach out.







Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

28 thoughts on “September– The Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

  1. This is a noble campaign. There are so many individuals out there fighting their inner demons. Struggling with social stigmas. Suffering from a lot of psychological pain. To an extent that taking their own loves seems easier than winning these silent wars. We need people like us to come forward and help them win the race.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post to boost awareness. In India more people die from suicide than heart attack. Our society is not supportive of people who want to end their lives. Often they are branded as escapist and weak but the reality is we need to reach out to these people and teach them self love. We need to just them we are there and often those few words are magical. Keep up the good work dear shilpz..😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It must be a gift to listen to and understand people’s sadness, despair, depression or suicidal tendencies. How often do we find people who are capable of doing this? I didn’t know about this campaign but this is a story filled with hope. There is a heightened need to talk about such subjects which have stayed swept and hidden under the carpet in our society for so long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some people are indeed gifted if they have the patience and the willingness to just listen to a person pouring his heart out. They also have a lot of strength and a balanced mind, I believe, if they can actually hear out a person who is depressed and suicidal. And,such people are a boon to our society. A blessing, really!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow – a true samaritan! Very few out there and peeps like him must be recognised and made aware of his good work. I had just read in tweets of loads of peeps I follow about a blogger whose husband died recently. He was a blogger too. Lots of people expressed their shock and disbelief over his sudden death. Just yesterday I saw another tweet about his apparent suicide – I was shocked to read that! I had read his blogposts some times and he wrote some really great posts on travel – his pics were amazing too.

    It is sad that people feel the need to take such a drastic step in their lives.

    I lost someone very close to me in this manner and still wonder why couldnt have I helped? Why didnt I see the signs?

    Counselling is needed for both- the people who think about suicide/ are depressed and the ones who get left behind in such cases.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We never know what a person is really thinking, isn’t it, Shalz? However much close one may be, there are certain things they leave unsaid, and those are the precise things that need to be heard.

      I, too, am shocked to hear about the blogger you mention. You wonder, that how a person who appears so happy and “sorted” could take such a step. And, most often than not, we wish we had asked, reached out or done something to help them. Alas, these thoughts come a bit too late.

      I wonder why we fear opening up with our own people!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful story this was . I had a friend who committed suicide and I often wonder if I could have helped her in any way.
    In today’s world most people line to keep to themselves for fear of getting ‘involved ‘ but it is this indifference of sorts that drives people over the edge .
    It requires empathy and courage to recognise and help a stranger in distress.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I remember reading your post on suicide, Sunita.
      True, people don’t want to get involved, firstly, and people also don’t want to involve others in their dark moments. Sharing worries with your near and dear ones will only help you find a relief, so, why not reach out, ask for help?

      We will never know what went on in their mind when people took such extreme steps!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I see this through my work almost every day. We work a lot with suicidal teenagers and I’ll confess, it has become second nature to me to talk about suicide and work with mental health issues. I forget sometimes how confronting it can be for some people. In the end, we need to listen, to reach out, to validate. Because life has ups and downs but ending ones life is not always the answer

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ending life isn’t an answer, how true.
      it takes someone special like a therapist or a counsellor or a psychologist to spot the difference in someone’s attitude, someone’s behaviour and reach out to them.

      You are doing such a wonderful job, Sanch. I know it must be difficult for you sometimes dealing with it all, but we need people like you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s an eye opening post, Shilpa. Personally, I don’t know anyone who has taken such an extreme step, but have heard about many celebrities – the Robbie William and Anthony Bourdain ones had shaken me. We wonder these people have it all, then why kill themselves. However, no one knows what the person is actually going through and somehow taking your life seems the easiest and most convenient route. If only these people can open up, how many lives can be saved. On the other hand, there should be people willing to listen to them and to counsel. After this post, I will try to keep my ear and eyes open and won’t hesitate to lend a sympathetic ear to a troubled soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, Anshu.
      We usually pass judgements on people who commit suicide by thinking that they took the easy way out. Seldom do we know about the actual turmoil they must be going through, with no one to lend a helping hand, or a patient ear. We never know how even a few words can express their state of mind, which we fail to understand.

      Sad, indeed, when celebrities take such drastic steps. We never know what emotions are bottled up behind that smile that graces the silver screen. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great story, Shilpa. Thank you for sharing it. Sometimes, my husband tells me that I spend too much time listening to people who don’t seem to really benefit from my presence. It’s hard to explain how sometimes knowing that there’s someone out there makes such a difference and keeps people from despair.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are certainly a special person, Corinne! if you are spending that much time for a person, trying to reach out, you are indeed doing a noble work. You never know how much that person might value your presence and the fact that you chose to stick around and listen things out, instead of walking away!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Mr Hussain deserves all respect and went all his way to help the girl in today’s rate race and selfish mentality. Sadly, we tend to judge other people and quick to jump the guns on someone going through shit. It’s so easy to judge people. Spreading awareness is the need of the hour. I think about our blogger friend who passed away suddenly last month! We can all do our bit like you are doing Shilpa and hope small changes can be made in listening to the person going through hell in today’s stressful world. A small trigger can do so much damage. I often hear people saying if one takes their life meaning they don’t think about their loved ones. It’s time to move beyond this whole loved ones argument and try to help the person, letting them vent out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh,so so true, Vishal!
      We pass judgements on those who could take it no more . How sick in the mind we are to blame them when they have already been going through enough hell.

      They don’t need much except a patient ear and support. If we can’t afford them that much, then we have no right to talk bad about them either!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It sends shivers down my spine just hearing about a suicide. What the person might have gone through to have taken such a drastic step!! Yes, suicides are indeed growing among youngsters, but older people are also succumbing to the stress of having to deal with things alone and find no support!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is so important…we are so busy in our lives and social media interactions that we forget its so important to just sit across, talk, find out how our friends/family are doing…at times its just about listening, acknowledging, understanding… Thanks for writing this

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True. It would be so good if we just put aside our gadgets and our obsession with social media and had heart to heart talks with our people, and really listened carefully to what they said.
      Thanks for visiting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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