Sea of Participants Join in the WALKATHON to Bring Awareness on Suicide & its Prevention organized by Susheg Lifeline to commemorate ‘WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY
Mangaluru: Being a Lazy Sunday, while most of the citizens of Mangaluru were still in bed either cuddling with their partners or on the pillows, thousands of young and old citizens of Mangaluru woke up early, and gathered at Town Hall, Mangaluru premises to take part in the WALKATHON, organized by Susheg Lifeline to bring awareness on Suicide and its prevention, to commemorate ‘WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY’ on Sunday, 10 September 2023 at 7.30 am. Participants carried placards, which some read- “HOPE-Hold On Pain Ends”; Suicide is Never a Solution”; “Hanging Up Your Futures, Not Yourself”; “Where There is a Life There is Hope”; “Living is Better than Leaving-Plan a Life than to Die”; Never Kill Yourself” etc.
This year, the theme of “We All Have A Role to Play,” echoed the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) overarching theme of “Creating hope through action.” In this spirit, the organizers stood united in their commitment to reduce suicide, empowering individuals with the confidence to take action. So, Every Breath You Take and Every Move You Make Can Make a Difference for Someone, Somewhere! And in this regard, a large number of students and adults joined in this ‘Walk of Life’, and Helped in creating Awareness in preventing Suicides.
Even though the weatherman had predicted heavy rains during the weekend, it turned out to be a perfectly bright and sunny Sunday, and everyone had fun walking a couple of kilometres for a good cause. Established under the aegis of Susheg Charitable Trust (Regd.) with support from leading educational institutions like St. Agnes College, St. Aloysius College, Roshni Nilaya and several concerned citizens and philanthropists, the Suicide Lifeline became operational in Mangaluru in October 2017. Suicide prevention, promotion of mental health, creating awareness, training volunteers, sensitizing the community and publishing literature on mental wellness are the objectives of the lifeline. Twenty-five trained volunteers are attending to distress calls twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.
The Walk commenced from Town Hall and proceeded on K S Rao Road, Kodialbail and culminated at Loyola Hall of St Aloysius PU College, Mangaluru, followed by a stage programme highlighting the aspects of suicide. Students from Colleges in and around Mangaluru, NGOs and concerned citizens joined in the ‘Walk for Life’ holding placards- and there was a poster contest and also a REEL Contest on suicide prevention for students and prizes were awarded for the most creative and educative placards. Most of the participants were attired in yellow outfits. Father Muller Hospital ambulance followed the Walkathon route, with Sr Pramila and Sr Diana on board to assist in case of an emergency.
Welcome address and introduction of chief guest police Commissioner Anupam Agarwal was done by Ms Sabrina Hougaard, a volunteer/coordinator with Susheg Lifeline. The walkathon was flagged off by the new Police Commissioner of Mangaluru Anupam Agarwal, who said, “This is a very good initiative taken by Susheg Lifeline in bringing awareness on Suicide and how it can be prevented. It’s sad to note that many youths are committing or attempting suicide for simple and silly reasons- and in that situation, the help of parents, adults and NGOs like Susheg Trust is very much needed. Parents need to spend time with their children when they see strange behaviour in their children or when they see any signs of distress in them. Parents need to act fast before it is too late. Awareness programmes like these will surely send out the message, thereby suicides could be prevented. The Mangaluru police are also doing their best in handling such distress situations, and the support of the public is also needed in our efforts”.
With the Walkathon culminating at St Aloysius PU College campus, a short stage programme was held in the Loyola Hall of the College. The programme was eloquently and meticulously compared by Brian Fernandes (in English) and Ms Jyothi Kanade (in Kannada). The dignitaries on the dais were Ln Mjf Dr Melwyn D’souza- District Lions 3127 D Governor; ACP Mahesh Kumar; Dr Rameela Shekar- Professor at Roshni Nilaya, School of Social work, and a mental health professional and trainer at her own centre Manashanthi; Dr Lavina Noronha- Trustee of Susheg Lifeline; Ms Sabrina Hougaard – Volunteer/coordinator, Susheg Lifeline; among others.
Following a prayer song by the students of Father Muller Homoeopathic College, the welcome address was delivered by Ms. Olga Noronha-Volunteer/coordinator at Susheg Lifeline. Dr Rameela Shekar briefed about the work done by Susheg Lifeline and also on the prevention of suicides. Speaking on the occasion Ln Melwyn D’souza and ACP Mahesh Kumar complimented Susheg Lifeline and its associates for yeoman service in suicide prevention. (LISTEN TO THEIR SPEECHES ON THE VIDEOS AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE). There was a Mime act by MSW students of St. Aloysius College, Mangaluru. Prizes were distributed to the winners in Poster Contest and Reel Contest by the dignitaries.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Dr Noronha said, “Suicide prevention, promotion of mental health, creating awareness, training volunteers, sensitizing the community and publishing literature on mental wellness are the objectives of this lifeline. We have trained volunteers attending to distress calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Suicide Lifeline (0824) 2983444 has been a ray of hope for many since its inception. Not only we are getting calls from in and around Mangaluru, from India, but also from abroad, like Gulf Countries, among others Our teams of facilitators have addressed administrators, teachers and students in and around Mangaluru on topics related to mental health and well-being.”
In conclusion, it’s very sad to note that we hear about many suicides committed, especially by youth in DK/Mangaluru. Many youths commit suicide either by consuming poison, jumping in the well, hanging, and so on- due to simple reasons like failing in their exams, or if they didn’t do well in their exams, or due to some love affair. Not just youth, but even adults end their lives due to depression or health issues. Do whatever it takes – do anything – to keep yourself alive until you feel safe again. Life-It is worth protecting. It is worth preserving. It is worth fighting for. Your true self remains in you, reliant upon your choices now. You are the future healer, prophet, activist, writer, poet, musician, artist, lover, father, mother, and creator of a better world. Not this one – a better one. That’s where you belong – that’s why your soul is crying out, every day, every second, so loud that you can’t ignore it.
Don’t give up. Not yet. So hold on with both fists, with your knuckles, with a death grip – hold on with all of your might! Fight for it! This life in your hands was a gift, it’s yours, chosen for you and you alone, and it’s your chance to help heal, to help fix this dying, polluted, messed up world that we’ve created, and return it to its true beauty and restore the sense of balance that we so desperately need. Hold on to whatever goodness you can find. Hold on to anything that remains hopeful for you – perhaps the beauty in a sunset, the joy of loving your friends or family, the promises of your own beliefs, the possibilities of the future…
Find that goodness. Find it in another person, in a creature, in whatever you can. And if you are in distress and need help, there is help available right here, locally! “Life is a war. Doctors fight disease. Lawyers fight injustice. Teachers fight ignorance. Suicide Lifeline of Susheg Charitable Trust-Susheg Lifeline fights to prevent suicide. Please – don’t give up and end your life. Not yet. We need you. And don’t give up on yourself either. There are other options.
The goal of Susheg LifelineLife is to prevent suicide and promote mental health and well-being. Their objectives are – To establish and operate a suicide prevention lifeline in Mangaluru; To train volunteers to assist those in distress through the suicide lifeline and prevent suicide; To conduct awareness programs on mental health for educational institutions- administrators, faculty, parents and student leaders; To sensitize the community on mental well-being and suicide prevention through various programmes; To publish literature on mental health and well-being in English and for the benefit of the general public in local languages. Suicide prevention, promotion of mental health, creating awareness, training volunteers, sensitizing the community and publishing literature on mental wellness are the objectives of the lifeline.
The Suicide Lifeline (0824) 2983444 has been a ray of hope for more than many callers since its inception. The teams of facilitators at Susheg have also addressed administrators, teachers and students in and around Mangaluru on topics related to mental health and well-being. September 10th, This walkathon is organized to sensitize the community and to generate awareness on suicide and its prevention. Students from Colleges in and around Mangaluru, NGOs and concerned citizens will join the Walkathon holding placards.
IF DISTRESSED DON’T COMMIT SUICIDE INSTEAD CALL FOR HELP OR MORE INFORMATION AT: 7338201234 or 0824 298 3444 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org