HOW TO REACH OUT FOR HELP

None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.These are risk factors that you can look out for to know whether you need support

Warning Signs

If there are risk factors, it is important to seek assistance for yourself and your family. If a family member or friend is concerned, discussing the issue with another family member, friend, counselor,  doctor could be helpful. Signs and behaviors that you need to watch out for:

  • Marked fall in academic performance
  • Poor marks in school despite trying very hard
  • Severe worry or anxiety,not wanting to go to school,feeling stressed and not taking part in sports or other activities 
  • Frequent physical complaints (eg.headaches, body aches)
  • Marked changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Extreme difficulties in concentrating at school or at home
  • Having multiple sexual relationships
  • Depression shown by sustained, prolonged negative mood and attitude, often accompanied by poor appetite, difficulty sleeping or thoughts of death
  • Severe mood swings
  • Strong worries or anxieties that get in the way of daily life, such as at school or socializing
  • Repeated use of alcohol and/or drugs/ tobacco/gutka especially when stressed or when it is difficult to deal with a situation

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

You are not alone

  • Talk: If you experience recurring disturbing thoughts or symptoms, you must reach out to a professional counsellor immediately, or talk to a trusted family member, friend or colleague about what is troubling you. While financial cost and insurance are often obstacles to avail help, you can call the helpline number(s) for your city/country. Helplines are often responsive and free of cost, you can receive immediate guidance on how to stabilize your thoughts.
  • Understand it’s a health condition: Understand that a mental health issue is a health condition, similar to how you also suffer from physical ailments. There is no need to isolate yourself or feel embarrassed or ashamed. Instead, recognize that you need to take care of your mental health and prioritize the treatment over everything else. 
  • Recovery phase: To put it out clearly for you, recovery process and time is anything but a quick fix. It takes its due course of time. What is needed from you is to give yourself time to recover, practice empathy towards yourself, make both physical and mental exercise a part of your daily routine and fight those thoughts that pull you down every single day. It is a long journey, but you are worth the effort to take it on!

 

Risk for Suicide

Sometimes problems seem like they are impossible to solve for many different reasons. Sometimes we are not even fully aware a problem is building up. We just know something is wrong.An estimated 8,00,000 people globally lose their life to suicide every year, equating to around one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29, with people of all ages being vulnerable.

When problems build up, even the strongest individuals may think about suicide. Yet suicide is not the answer. Are you, or someone you know, at risk for suicide? The most common symptoms include loss of interest in daily activities, erratic mood swings and sudden changes in behavior, appetite, and sleeping patterns, among others. Inability to understand and decode what is going on in one’s mind to cause such extreme external changes can be frustrating. This frustration either turns into or adds to anxiety–leading to a burn out, nervous breakdown, panic attack, state of shock, fainting, and at times can condition the individual to contemplate suicide.

Seek help if you notice any of the following warning signs of suicide:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill self
  • Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
  • Looking for ways to kill self
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Trying to get pills, guns, or other means to harm oneself
  • Withdrawing from friends or family
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
  • Having dramatic changes in mood
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling like there is no reason for living, no sense of purpose in life
  • Experiencing rage, uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities
  • Giving away possessions

Screening Tool:

If you are stressed or experiencing distress, fill up the scale using the Link:

https://ogg.osu.edu/media/documents/MB%20Stream/who5.pdf

For the well-being scale, a raw score below 13 indicates poor well-being and is an indication for further evaluation for depression/ anxiety. Please reach out to a counsellor/psychiatrist for help.

 

Helplines for Psychological Distress

Here is a handy list of mental health helplines [telephone numbers and email-addresses] available in India that one can reach in times of distress. 

Free Telephone Counseling Hotlines in India

  1. Govt launched KIRAN, a 24×7 helpline for people to seek mental health counselling.
    • The social justice and empowerment ministry has set up the toll-free number (1800-599-0019) to encourage people to reach out for help.
    • Helpline in 13 languages, operated by 75 professionals.
    • Provides first stage advice, counselling and reference to those in need of support across the country.
  2. The Health Collective India has city-wise lists of:
    • DISTRESS/ SUICIDE PREVENTION HELPLINES
    • STRESS RELATED HELPLINES
  3. iCall, set up by TISS, also provides professional and free counseling over phone, email or chat while ensuring confidentiality. You can also mail icall@tiss.edu or dial 022-25521111 (Monday-Saturday, 8am to 10pm) to reach iCall, a psychosocial helpline set up by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
  4. Mumbai-based Aasra has a free helpline, open 24/7. You can call them at +91 98204 66726
  5. Goa-based Cooj at +91 98225 62522 or email them at coojtrust@yahoo.co.in.
  6. Samaritans Mumbai is a helpline says it provides emotional support for those who are stressed, distressed, depressed, or suicidal. You can call them at +91 84229 84528 or +91 84229 84529 or +91 84229 84530 or you can write to them at talk2samaritans@gmail.com
  7. Sneha Foundation, a suicide prevention organisation in Chennai, has a helpline open from 10 am to 4 pm on all days. You can call them at +91 44 2464 0050 or +91 44 2464 0060 or email them at help@snehaindia.org.
  8. The Bangalore-based Parivarthan Counselling, Training & Research Centre has a counselling helpline that is open from Monday to Friday between 1 pm to 10 pm. You can call them at +917676602602.
  9. Pune-based Connecting NGO is a non-judgemental listening service and helpline that is open everyday between 12 pm to 8 pm. You can call them at +919922004305 or +919922001122. You can also email them at distressmailsconnecting@gmail.com.
  10. NATIONAL TOLL FREE DRUG – DE ADDICTION HELPLINE TEL : 1800-11-0031