Saturday, September 13, 2014

World Suicide Prevention Day observed

GANGTOK, 11 Sept [IPR]: In observance of the World Suicide Prevention Day, an awareness cum sensitization workshop was held at the European Conference Hall, STNM Hospital, Gangtok, on Wednesday. The workshop was organised by the Non Communicable Diseases Division of the Health Care Human Services & Family Welfare Department in collaboration with the Psychiatric Department of Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Hospital.
Chaired by Dr K Bhandari, DG cum Secretary, Health Department, and attended by Dr PM Pradhan-Mission Director, Dr Yogesh Verma , Medical Superintendent STNM Hospital amongst others, the programme took off on a solemn note with a two minute silence observed in the memory of the suicide victims.
Dr PM Pradhan, the Mission Director addressing all the HOD’s, health officials and the media personnel present said that suicide is a multifaceted issue with complex ramifications that needs to be solved with utmost care and tenacity. Dr Pradhan stated that Sikkim is the nation’s first state to have a District Mental Health Programme implemented in all the districts. He affirmed that the State is well equipped with Psychiatrists who specialise in suicides and added that efforts to control deliberate self harm right from the grassroots levels are in progress.
He also lauded the recent heroic effort of a home-guard who jumped into the river to save a person from drowning.
Dr. K. Bhandari declaimed that World Suicide Prevention Day is an important day and that it should be prioritised in view of the increasing suicide rate. He further discussed the many causes of suicide and greatly stressed on the fact that the society at large needs to come together and make collective efforts to understand and prevent suicides. He emphasised the need for every individual to be pro-active and be aware of suicidal signs as this is the very first cry for help for a person in distress. Dr Bhandari vocalised the role of the media in playing a positive role in overcoming the issue.
The programme was concluded by Dr CS Sharma , Head of Psychiatry Department , STNM who thanked all the HOD’s , Officials and the Media present .
The programme was followed by an interactive workshop for the Media Personnel where a slideshow was presented by Dr N Thapa, Consultant Psychologist .
During the interactive session, Dr KJ Tobgay, Additional Director, along with other officials answered doubts and concerns raised by the Media and elucidated them on the issue. The Media were also briefed on following certain guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation in reporting and writing about such cases. The workshop concluded with suggestions from the Media to work in tandem with all the concerned authorities to successfully prevent suicides and bring peace back to the Society.

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