Monthly Archives: February 2016

My inputs in today’s TOI on Suicide Notes…


Last words talk of pain, fear and disappointment….

Suicide Notes Reaching DFS Rise Four-Fold In 5 Years

On December 29 last year, Ravi Shah, a 29-year old youth from Maninagar, ended life by jumping into the Sabarmati River. From his wallet, police found a four-page note in which Shah had narrated his months-long ordeal in the hands of Karman, Mahesh and Jayram Rabari.The trio had lent him money , continued to inflate the interest and also forced him to do petty jobs for them. Maninagar police arrested the trio last month on the basis of the suicide note.

Regrettably , over the past five years, the trend of leaving behind suicide notes has gone up by 400%, making experts concerned.

Experts say that analysis of the notes provides a peek into the minds of the suicide victims and a possible key for preventing such incidents.

“Five years ago, we used to get around 15 notes each month for handwriting analysis to provide opinion on whether it matches the victim’s natural writing sample. The report establishes that there was no foul play involved. Today , the average is of around 60 notes per month. In January , we received 62 notes, out of which 45 were of high priority for ongoing court proceedings,“ said an official with state Directorate of Forensic Sciences (DFS) in Gandhinagar.

Officials added that they have found all kinds of notes ranging from written on newspaper margins to back of used postal covers. In some of the cases, the officials have got multiple notes written over a period of time, or even addressed to various persons including chief minister of Gujarat and prime minister of India.

What do the victims write in their notes? City police officials said that more often than not, the notes are written only the suicide victim wants to implicate somebody of abetment. “Suicide notes primarily mention moneylenders, defaulting debtors or monetary crisis. The next most common category is of relationship issues in both married and unmarried couples. The third category is about failure in fulfilling expectations be it academic or professional,“ said a police official. Officials said that while almost all age groups write suicide notes, the most common group is from18 to 45 years.

`Communication key to suicide prevention’

Dr Hansal Bhachech, city-based psychiatrist, said that a suicide is always aggression turned inward.“The notes reflect the aspect as it points towards a person.Many a times, the person takes the extreme step to make the others `realize’ something or prove their point. The same is true for motivation of punishing the persons responsible. We can find notes such as `take care of my mother’ or `do well in studies son’ in a few notes, showing the side of a person trying to justify the act, indicating that he or she did not have any other option left,“ he said. Professor Kamayani Mathur, city-based clinical psychologist, said that a lot goes on inside a person when he or she writes a suicide note as his or her final statement. “Family and educational institutes play a key role in shaping a person.We sometimes lose touch with the reality, and feel dejection. Timely communication between the suffering person and those in his surroundings is the key to preventing suicides,“ she said. She also mentioned the free helplines available for those feeling suicidal, and a recent initiative by state psychologists to conduct seminars in schools and colleges for positive mental health.


Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Interviews


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Mental health experts join hands to curb suicide rate – My inputs in TOI


Feb 05 2016 : The Times of India (Ahmedabad)

Mental health experts join hands to curb suicide rate

Death is catching them young. Over 15 suicides by students and youths were reported from across the state in past one month.While 10 students, including five school students, ended their lives, two newly-married women also decided to end their lives by jumping from high-rises in Ahmedabad and Surat.

To prevent such incidents and to create awareness about mental health, the Gujarat branches of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Indian Psychology Society (IPS) have joined hands. The formal programme would be launched on February 7 from Rajkot, said officials associated with the initiative.

Dr Atul Pandya, president of Gujarat chapter of IMA, told TOI that the initiative would reach schools and colleges through teachers and lecturers.

“World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a guideline for prevention of suicides and identifying persons prone to factors leading to su cide. We have translated the guidelines into Gujarati and have prepared booklets for distribution. We hope that the message would be carried for ward up to the persons affec ted, and we would be able to save some lives,“ said Pandya City-based psychiatrist Dr Hansal Bhachech, said that failure or lack of money alone cannot be reasons for suicide. “Suicide is a complex phenomenon whose reasons can differ from case to case The effort is to identify early signs and intervene,“ he said


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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Interviews


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