India has the highest suicide rate in South-east Asia, with an average of 15 people losing their lives to suicide per hour. This alarming number is more than just a percentage on a piece of paper, these are people we have lost. India’s on-going struggle against suicide is only getting worse during the lockdown, with people feeling lonely and distressed indoors.
Johnson Thomas, the director at Aasra, India’s most used suicide helpline stated that helplines are seeing an overwhelming amount of phone calls during the lockdown.
This increase in distress is not only due to loneliness resulting from the lockdown and the need for social distancing. This is a compounded problem. We are getting a lot of calls from migrant labourers, who are unable to go back home. They don’t have food and provisions as they are daily wage earners whose employers are closed for work.
So if you, or someone you love are feeling upset, isolated or suicidal during this period and need someone to talk to then don’t be afraid to reach out. Here are some helplines across India that are available for those in need:
1. AASRA – 022 2754 6669, available 24×7.
For more helplines click here: Suicide Prevention India Foundation, The Live Love Laugh Foundation.