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Prevent suicide by recognizing early warning signs

Dr. Samir Parikh
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Dr. Samir Parikh, Consultant, Fortis National Mental Health Program

The month of September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. Dr. Samir Parikh, Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of the Fortis National Mental Health Program, has asked people to prevent suicides by recognizing the early warning signs, by helping others in crisis, and by changing the conversation around suicide.

“It is important for all of us to be vigilant to suicide signs, and to know how to respond to them, we need to encourage help-seeking behaviour and direct the sufferers to reach out to a mental health professional to alleviate their distress levels and help them tide over the urge, further working towards suicide prevention” Dr Parikh says.

Failure to achieve the desired goal can definitely be a cause of significant stress, often leading to increased levels of frustration as well. With a lack of a support system, such a sense of failure could induce feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and despair. With such a state of mind, there is a greater susceptibility for the individual to experience suicidal ideation, added Dr Parikh.

He claimed that one of the most common myths about suicides becomes a major obstacle in itself to interventions. Yes, preventing suicide is possible, and the simplest thing to remember about this is to be open to talking! Simply talking about suicide does not encourage suicides.

More often than not, suicide is not an impulsive decision that happens on the spur of the moment, which means that there could be clear warning signs of people who might be contemplating suicide, he added.

Dr Parikh stated, “A suicide haunts families for generations. As behavioral health providers, the last thing we want to do is to make an error in judgment when we see a suicidal patient – we must hone our skills so that we don’t miss the chance to intervene appropriately and effectively.”


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