To prevent the increasing number of suicides being reported during the pandemic from in and around the State capital, the Ranchi District Administration took stock of the entire situation and launched a suicide prevention helpline number on January 5. In just over a week of it being functional, the numbers 9334915053 and 9334915046 have received as many as 50 calls from the State capital and its surrounding areas.
To deal with cases related to mental, health, depression and anxiety, the calls are being addressed by counsellors, psychiatrists and psychiatric social workers from the Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP), Ranchi. While dealing with a caller, his or her identity is being kept purely confidential by the professionals.
“There has been a rise in the number of suicide cases in the country more so due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The suicide prevention helpline number in Ranchi is to provide timely help to anyone in need. We have a set of professional counsellors on call 24X7 from CIP, Ranchi on these help lines for crisis intervention. I hope this will help us save lives and remove the stigma around mental health issues,” said Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Chhavi Ranjan.
A lot of calls on the mentioned numbers have been received from adolescents and teenagers who in the present circumstances do not have an outlet and are unable to express themselves. Calls have also been received from those seeking advice on personal issues. Working professionals who have lost their jobs due to the ongoing pandemic and those suffering from domestic violence and other forms of abuse have also sought help.
“The district administration wanted to started something for suicide prevention as it is not a talked about topic and is always spoken in hushed voices within a household. For somebody suffering from depression and anxiety, they can unhesitatingly call on the numbers and reach out for help. In a situation as serious as suicide, timely help when
received can save a
lot of lives,” said Ananya Seth, Consultant, Ranchi district administration.
The district administration has however requested the residents of Ranchi to use the numbers responsibly and not for any insignificant inquiries.