#StandAgainstSuicide : Launch a national helpline number for suicide prevention.

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It was around 8:45 pm when the bell rang. I was in my room. I could vaguely hear my dad as he rushed out of the house. Confused, I called him. After a few seconds, he picked up and I realized that he was sobbing. I’d never seen my dad cry. And then, he said something that will haunt me forever – “Raghav is gone.”

My little brother was only 18.

He was my best friend and my idol. He was the kind of person who wanted to help everyone but never asked for anything in return. 

On 6th January, 2019 – we lost him to suicide.

My story is not unique, this is the story of a million families who lose a brother, a sister, a father, a mother or a friend to this silent prey. According to WHO, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults. Data released recently by the online journal Lancet Public Health, as part of its Global Burden of Disease Study (1990 to 2016), revealed, for the first time, the quantum of the problem India is facing: In 2016, it had the highest number of suicide deaths and it's only increasing every year.

Another disturbing truth that I came across while doing my research was that most of the suicide helpline numbers do not work. I dialed around 15 numbers but most of the calls went unanswered, some numbers were switched off. Only three responded.

It is now my goal to create a safe space for anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts and invoke a sense of will within the government to address mental health issues.

Sign my petition asking the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to launch a national helpline number for suicide prevention by 10th September (World Suicide Prevention Day) and also address this issue at a national level so that one knows that help is just a call away.

We cannot remove stigma without all the forces working together recognizing that mental illness is an illness that needs treatment. 

Join me and take a #StandAgainstSuicide to save a life because #MentalHealthMatters ;