Every year, suicide is responsible for over 800,000 deaths of people of all ages around the world. A person dies every 40 seconds by suicide and up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. Every life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague. Even today suicide prevention remains a universal challenge!

Preventing suicide is often possible and each one of us can be a key player in its prevention! We can make a difference – as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour. There are many things that we can do to prevent suicidal behaviour, such as raising awareness about the issue, educating ourselves and others about the causes of suicide and warning signs for suicide, showing compassion and caring for those who are in distress in our community. We can also do this by questioning the stigma associated with suicide, suicidal behaviour and mental health problems and sharing our own experiences too.

September 10th is observed as World Suicide Prevention Day every year, hence we decided to use this occasion to collaborate with Nandini Swaminathan (Founder, Sartorial Secrets) by sharing her photo story about spreading awareness about depression which is one of the leading causes of suicide. The photo story was a response to the worldwide campaign on depression awareness which was triggered by Chester Bennington‘s death by suicide.

Depression is one of the most common causes of suicide, especially amongst youngsters. Those of us going through extreme phases of depression often end up feeling suicidal, and are overwhelmed by painful emotions and see suicide as the only way out, without considering the fact that death is permanent! Often, those who attempt suicide but live later say that they are glad they didn’t die. Also, people who die by suicide could have been saved by the timely intervention of friends or family because an individual contemplating suicide will try and confide in someone close, who may be able to convince them to seek treatment. Hence understanding what a person suffering from depression may be a vital step in ensuring that we are well prepared in case someone close to us needs our help.

This photo story is an attempt to show you, through pictures and words, what depression actually feels, on the inside!

Above all else, depression is also the feeling of helplessness, of loss of control. You know how miserable you feel when you fall physically sick? That discomfort? Imagine that, only, it’s your mind that’s fallen ill. Suddenly, the easiest of tasks seem mammoth. Getting out of bed. Getting dressed. Doing tasks.

You no longer recognize yourself. You feel like something’s trapping you, blocking you from truly enjoying things or doing the simplest of tasks. Sometimes you’re super high, others it’s like ‘rock bottom, 50 feet of crap, then me’ – as Rachel from Friends said. You watch helplessly as things slip through your fingers. As your friends and family seem to get alienated from you. Even if they don’t know what you’re going through. You want to talk to someone but can’t muster up the courage too. Here’s one of the reasons why most people don’t easily open up about it.

Read the full story

What can YOU do to help?
Depression is a difficult topic and an even more difficult condition to deal with. As a friend/ally, all you really can do is spread more awareness, and offer your support for someone who has it. Show compassion, and don’t judge. That’s all that really matters, and the person will appreciate you for it.

Here is a list of resources for Indians and more resources for those abroad that will help you in case you think you or someone you know has depression.

Something as simple as taking a minute to reach out to someone in your community – a family member, friend, colleague or even a stranger – could change the course of another’s life. (Know more)

Arjun Shaw (Arya Photography)
Concept & Styling:
 Nandini Swaminathan (Founder, Sartorial Secrets)