Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention

Suicide derived from a Latin word means self-murder. About 8,00,000 people commit suicide worldwide every year. Today suicide ranks Eighth leading cause of death and the most suicide reported between the ages of 15-45yrs.

Athma Education and Research Foundation’s response

Our 24/7 Acute Crisis and Suicide prevention guidance is inaugurated in 2009 and it is been handled by professionals who listen without judgment, and provide a confidential service.

Hot Line Number

0 98 424 22 121

Since 2009 we have saved 19000 suicides across India.

The Clients not only use the hotline number for the suicide counselling but also they use it for emergency conditions in psychiatry such as Aggressive behavior, drug over dose, violent behavior due to mental illness and referring wandering mentally ill destitute.

Through this hot line number we have rescued 467 from various parts of the states and cities and reunited 345 beneficiaries with their families.

Magnitude of the problem in India

  • India had 1,35,445 suicides in 2016-2017
  • Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal had the highest proportion of suicides.
  • Approximately 1/10,000 commit suicide in India
  • The Second leading cause of death in Adolescents
  • Every 90 minutes a teenager tries to commit suicide in India.
  • Many of these attempts are half-hearted cries for attention, help and love, but every six hours, one succeeds.
  • Chennai had -13000 Deaths during 2016-17
Suicides in India

Age group

Reasons for Suicide


Attempted suicide

When a person wishes to die and does any act which endangers his safety of life

Committed suicide

When a person dies of suicide

Consummated suicide

When a person attempts suicide was saved but has caused irreversible damage for example after a burns.

Para suicide

Here the person attempts suicide but with a wish not to die , for various gains.

Deliberate Self Harm (DSH)

Here the person does injures himself which may not be fatal but for gains, or other reasons.

Example burning his arm with a Cigarette bud, or slashing the wrist with a blade.

Common Precipitating Factors for Suicide

  • A recent stressor, like fear of being failed in exams, failure in exams or love, family issues.
  • Mental illness and painful medical conditions
  • A recent provocation by a close member, like father / mother tells child “Go die”, or “better you die”.
  • Feelings of Hopelessness, Worthlessness, Helplessness
  • Lack of parental support, social support feeling of loneliness,
  • Low self-esteem, No confiding relationships.
Facts to know

Information is power and too much misinformation about suicide can have tragic consequences.

Myth – Suicide in youth is not a problem

Truth – Suicide is a major problem affecting youth; it is the 2nd leading cause of death among 15-25 year olds

Myth – Asking about suicide causes suicidal behavior

Truth – Addressing the topic of suicide in a caring, empathetic, and nonjudgmental way shows that we are taking the person seriously and responding to their emotional pain

Myth – Only a professional can identity an individual at risk for suicidal behavior

Truth – Parents, Teachers and other caregivers often are the first to recognize warning signs and most able to intervene in a loving way.

What we need to know

We can help prevent suicide by

  • Recognizing Warning signs
  • Identifying Risk factors (characteristics that may lead a person to engage in suicidal behaviors)
  • Promoting Protective factors and knowing how to talk to them and seek mental health services.
Recognize the Warning signs

Studies shows that 4 out of 5 teen suicide attempts are preceded by clear warning signs.

  • A warning sign does not mean the teen or adut will attempt suicide, but do not ignore warning signs.
  • Respond to the victim immediately, thoughtfully and with loving concern.
  • Don’t dismiss a threat as a cry for attention!

Changes in personality:

Sadness, withdrawal, irritability, anxiety, exhaustion, indecision

Changes in behavior:

Deterioration in social relationships and school and/or work performance, reduced involvement in positive activities

Sleep disturbance:

Insomnia, oversleeping; nightmares

Changes in eating Habits:

Loss of appetite or overeating, weight loss

Fear of losing control:

Erratic behavior, harming self or others

Know the Risk Factors

Recognize certain situations and conditions that are associated with an increased risk of suicide.

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Mental health disorders (depression, anxiety)
  • Alcohol and other substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, guilt, loneliness, worthlessness, low self-esteem.
  • Loss of interest in friends, hobbies, or activities previously enjoyed
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Bullying or being a bully at College or in social settings
  • Disruptive behavior, including disciplinary problems at school or at home
  • Recent/serious loss (death, divorce, separation, broken romantic relationship,)
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence (domestic violence, child abuse or neglect)
  • Sexual orientation and identity confusion.
  • Access to lethal means like firearms, pills, knives or illegal drugs
  • Stigma associated with seeking mental health services
  • Know the Protective Factors

    These factors have been shown to have protective effects against suicide:

    • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and handling problems in a non-violent way
    • Strong connections to family, friends, and community support
    • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation
    • Easy access to services
    • Support through ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
    Take Preventive Measures

    • You are not powerless; you can guard the help seeker/ suicidal/ your friend against the possibility of suicide.
    • Interact them positively (give consistent feedback, compliments for good work.)
    • Increase his/her involvement in positive activities (promote involvement in clubs/sports)
    • Appropriately monitoring their whereabouts and communications (texting, Face book, Twitter) with the goal of promoting safety
    • Be aware of student / friend’s social environment (friends, teammates, coaches) and communicate regularly with them.
    • Communicate regularly with the parents
    • Talk to the student about your concerns; ask him/her directly about suicidal thoughts
    • Address your concerns with other adults in your child’s life (teachers, coaches, family)
    • Discuss your concerns with his/her family physician to seek mental health referrals.
    Seek Mental Health Services

    Mental health professionals can be essential partners in teen suicide prevention.

    Take appropriate action to protect to your family member

    • If you feel that something is “just not right”
    • If you notice warning signs

    Find a mental health provider who has experience with handling teen/adult suicide

    • Choose a mental health provider with whom your family member and you are comfortable
    • Participate actively in their therapy

    If danger is imminent,

    Call our life line

    0 98 424 22 121

    Anytime (24x7)