World Mental Health Day : 10th October
Psychological First Aid can save thousands of lives: Experts
New Delhi, October 09. On the eve of World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Experts suggested to promote psychological first aid (PFA) which can save hundreds of lives every year.
Dr. Manu Tiwari, senior psychiatrist at Fortis-Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi said that about 100,000 Indians commit suicide every year, many others suffer injuries, some become unable to function to capacity due to stress-related factors. But psychological first aid (PFA) could help a person get over the effects of stress and depression.
“Suicides can be prevented if early warning signs are recognized and timely help is provided. Untreated Mood Swings, recent life trauma, sudden calmness after mood swings, talking about suicide and making preparations to give away possessions may be red flag signs of potential risk for suicide.
If any such signs are noted, family members and next of kin must intervene and help the person suffering from suicidal ideation find timely help from mental health care experts.
Timely intervention in the moment of crisis can help save their life,” says Dr. Sunil Mittal, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist and Director, Consultant Psychiatrist at Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, New Delhi.
Dr. Ajay Dogra, Senior Psychiatrist at Jeewan Anmol Hospital, New Delhi said that Dr. Tiwari said that support can come from a relative, friend or colleague, but it is best dealt with by professionals. The symptoms could be a feeling of despair, fatigue, anxiety, an inability to interact normally with others, unusual displays of temper and so on.
“Psychological disorders like Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Addiction or Personality Disorder are treatable if timely help is provided. People attempt suicide or take extreme steps when they are no longer able to bear the psychological pain and become overpowered by a feeling of hopelessness. Stressful life events like death of a loved one, financial loss, retirement, academic difficulties, ragging and relationship difficulties can be triggers for an act as serious as suicide,” said Dr. Shobhana Mittal, Consultant Psychiatrist at CIMBS.
Psychiatrists called for promoting Psychological First Aid
Dr. Ajay Dogra said,
“with the aim to alleviate mental distress at its source, psychological interventions are the first attempts to provide the emotional support that is often undermined in such times. Combating this emotional strife might seem to be overwhelming, but with professional help can halven the distress. Hence, as helping professionals, we aim to reach out to those whose concerns don’t surface, and maybe considered rather insignificant in the larger realm of things.”
“Psychological intervention in the nick of time can considerably impact lives in a more meaningful way. Thus, the initiative of ‘psychological first aid’ recognises the agony of the common man and tries to provide intervention without delay,” said Dr. Manu Tiwari.
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