Webinar on World Suicide Prevention Day
A webinar titled “Q/A with experts on suicide prevention” was held on 10 September 2021 on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day from 4 pm to 6 pm. The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day was “Creating Hope through Action”. A total of 55 participants participated in this webinar, which was moderated by Manil Maharjan and Parbati Shrestha from TPO Nepal. Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Kamal Gautam and Psychologist Indira Pradhan were the experts who answered the questions from the participants about suicide prevention.
The questions were asked by participants both verbally and through chat anonymously. First, Manil Maharjan gave a brief introduction about the program and the speakers after which Parbati Shrestha briefly oriented the participants about the national suicide prevention hotline 1166.
The first question was addressed by Dr. Kamal Gautam. He said that talking about suicide will not encourage the person to commit suicide and it is just a myth. Instead, talking openly about suicidal thoughts helps them to get help faster. Then Indira Pradhan answered the question about helping a friend who is openly talking about suicide. She emphasized that this is a cry for help and suggested creating a safe space for the friend where they can openly talk about their feelings.
In response to whether suicide is a planned behavior, Dr. Kamal answered that there are five phases to suicidal behavior: intent, guilt, thought, attempt, and suicide. So, almost all suicides are planned. One of the participants asked the speakers about how to immediately help a person who is suicidal. To this, Ms. Pradhan replied that the first important thing is their rescue and safety. Then we need to separate the person from self-harm materials and focus on their long-term safety, emotional support, and privacy. Dr. Kamal emphasized that we also need to take precautions to ensure that they do not attempt again as the person who has attempted once could attempt again. He then requested to call the national suicide prevention helpline 1166 if anyone is having thoughts of self-harm/suicide.
Another question was asked about identifying suicidal thoughts and behaviors. “There are some warning signs that can be used to identify people with suicidal ideation. Some of them are talking about suicide, giving away belongings, staying alone, looking sad, meeting loved ones, etc.” said Ms. Pradhan. Noticing these behaviors early, taking them seriously, and seeking help is crucial for suicide prevention.
The full webinar can be accessed at:
Please call us at 1166 if you are having thoughts of self-harm/suicide.