Suicide Prevention: Warning Signs and Helplines Across India

Mental Health Awareness Stress suicide

A suffering that becomes unbearable, pain that doesn’t seem to fade away, all roads leading to darkness, despair and isolation, finding means and ways to end one’s life desperately is what suicide is.

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. This number is enormous and sad - it indicates a systematic failure in our mental health structures and support systems.

People who have suicidal ideation often wish there was an alternative to an unhappy and dissatisfied life – one that could be lived with happiness and good care, but with such intense pain and suffering, they fail to see and find another option. At the end dying by suicide is what they aim for. In a crowd of people with pain, to them their pain is unbearable. BUT the answer to end this pain does not lie in ending one’s life.

It is nice to care for your loved one’s mental health, their thoughts, missions, visions and be aware of what mental health care they need. A person might rarely open up about their thoughts of suicide to their loved ones but there are some warning signs that can be identified and spoken about.

Note: If people are aware of the warning signs of suicide, they are more equipped at helping their loved ones or any other individual with suicidal ideating.

Warning signs:

Changes in mood, sleep, appetite, and behavior:

Mood: Individuals with suicidal thoughts may get irritable, anxious, and sad about the little things in life and talk about wishing not to live anymore as the life they imagined is not working their way.

Sleep patterns: Sleep of an individual may either be too less or too much. Waking up suddenly or deliberately trying to sleep extra with the thought/fear of facing tomorrow.

Appetite: The appetite of an individual might change from eating too little or excessive eating (especially their favorite foods), to starvation or as well as binge eating. Individuals with suicidal thoughts may suddenly isolate themselves from the people they once enjoyed spending time with.

Behavior – Aggression and/or impulsiveness: Individuals may randomly get very eager and impulsive with their decisions and also they are likely to get very uncooperative and hostile that may be resulting from aggression.

Low grades and work under-performance –

With the constant thought of suicide running across their minds, individuals who were very wise and cooperative suddenly may drop in their grades and underperform at workplace without any other cause.

Risk-taking behaviours –

They will start having thoughts about or engaging in risk-taking behaviors such as breaking rules/laws at both – places of public as well as private. Actions like breaking traffic signals intentionally, entering no-entry zones purposely, stealing, engaging in unwanted arguments, creating an argument unnecessarily, scratching until bleeding begins or carving on skin, hurting others – animals/birds, kids, strangers, hurting self with blade cuts, snatching, running away from daily life situations, not engaging in confrontation when anything goes wrong, etc.

Feelings of hopeless, worthless and distrust with relationships –

Cutting off relationship ties and/or developing trust issues with family, friends, colleagues, whom they once used to share things with, engage in discussions and talks, share their emotions, aims, daily activities and plans, happy and sad thoughts, etc. Individuals with thoughts of suicide might stop expressing their opinions and suggestions or tend to be neutral and go with the flow of majority, even when asked about their point of view. They may feel hopelessness, worthlessness, shame, and even desperation especially after a fight/break-up with a dear one.

If you ever notice any of these signs and unusual behaviors suddenly in an individual or a loved one – please talk to them and be their friend, guide them with the right direction and above all convince them to visit a professional therapist for better help.

Remind them: You don’t want to die, you just want the pain to go away, and there is help always available for any kind of pain to fade away.




Kindly note: These helplines are across India and offer emotional support for those who are distressed, and feel depressed, suicidal, and are in need at times of mental crisis. They are trained counselors and volunteers who provide the support you need when there is no one whom you can trust or feel like sharing and your talk/session remains confidential and anonymous.

Consider talking, chatting, emailing, and taking their help that is available everywhere.

YOU MATTER AND YOUR LIFE IS IMPORTANT AND BEAUTIFUL.

Some of the suicide prevention help-line details available across India:

1 Life – Hyderabad

  • Contact Number: 78930 78930 (24 hours)
  • Days: All Days
  • Timings: 6 am to 12:30 am
  • Email: onelifehelpline@hotmail.com
  • Website: http://1life.org.in
  • Facebook + Twitter: @1lifehelpline

Aasra – Navi Mumbai

  • Contact Number: +91-22-2754 6669
  • Days: All Days
  • Timings: Always (24×7)
  • Email: aasrahelpline@yahoo.com
  • Website: http://aasra.info
  • Facebook: @aasrasuicideprevention

COOJ, You Matter – Goa

  • Contact Number: 0832-2252525
  • Days: Monday to Friday
  • Timings: 3 pm to 7 pm
  • Email: coojtrust@yahoo.com
  • Website: http://www.cooj.co.in
  • Facebook: @YouMatterByCooj

iCALL – Mumbai

  • Contact Number: 022 – 25521111
  • Days: Monday to Saturday
  • Timings: 8 am to 10 pm
  • Email: icall@tiss.edu
  • Website: http://icallhelpline.org
  • Facebook: @helplineicall
  • Twitter: @iCALLhelpline

Jeevan Aastha – Gandhinagar, Gujarat

(Also handles) Vandrevala Foundation1860 266 2345

Kashmir Lifeline and Health Centre – Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

Lifeline Foundation – Kolkata (Calcutta)

  • Contact Number: 0332 – 463 7401/7432
  • Days: Monday to Saturday
  • Timings: 10 am to 6pm
  • Email: lifelinekolkata@gmail.com
  • Website: http://lifelinefoundation.co.in
  • Facebook: @LifelineFoundationKolkata

Sumaitri – New Delhi

  • Contact Number: 011 – 2338 9090
  • Days: Monday to Friday; Saturday – Sunday
  • Timings: 2 pm to 10 pm; 10 am – 10 pm
  • Email: feelingsuicidal@sumaitri.net
  • Website: http://sumaitri.net
  • Facebook: @Sumaitri – A Crisis Intervention

Sneha Foundation – Chennai

  • Contact Number: 91-44-2464 0050 / 60 (24 hours)
  • Days: All Days
  • Visit Timings: 8 am to 10 pm
  • Email: help@snehaindia.org
  • Website: https://www.snehaindia.org
  • Facebook: @sneha.foundation.india





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