#YouMatter: Break the Silence; Campaign on World Suicide Prevention Day

MASH Project Foundation launched a week long campaign #YouMatter: Break the Silence to mark the World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th of September. It was majorly an Instagram led campaign, which commenced from 7th September, 2020 and ended on 13th September, 2020. Every year an unimaginable 800,000 number of people die by their own hands while more than 25 times than this number attempt suicide. So, this campaign was initiated to create an impact and spread awareness about suicide and ways to prevent it. The campaign focused to emphasize the importance of one’s mental well being and that all lives matter. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the campaign was conducted fully in a virtual setting and included a series of interactive and informative posts and videos. The week-long campaign ended with an engaging Instagram live session with experts. From myth busting to self-care and every aspect of suicide prevention, we tried to drive the campaign in a holistic manner. 
Knowing and acknowledging the problem is huge step towards solving it so we kick started the campaign by talking about the top three causes of suicide and it won’t come as a surprise as we tend to see and ignore these deep rooted problems every step of the way; Discrimination, Peer Pressure, and Depression.
As many as 75% or more people who die by suicide has a recognizable behaviours. There are several ways through which suicide can be prevented. We collaborated with a number of experts working actively in the space of mental well being to highlight the gravity of this subject.
The MINDS Foundation is committed to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness through education, training, and providing access to cost-effective, high-quality care. They shared the signs individuals must look out for as indicators of suicide and how one must tackle the situation, communicate and seek help.
TalktoAngel is an online platform dedicated towards spreading awareness about mental health wellness and helping people fight their inner negativity. They talked about suicide prevention and how early intervention can save many lives. They motivated individuals to speak about their problems whenever required and reach out for support.
Ms. Adishree Khandelwal, a counselling psychologist and founder of Tabula Rasa By Adishree pointed out that we sustain psychological injuries more often than physical injuries. She emphasized on the importance of taking both psychological and physical habits as co-partners to enhance our overall well-being. 
Fortis Mental Health has been developed with the aim of extending mental health services to the broadest segment of society possible. They iterated that practicing self-care improves our confidence and self-esteem and helps us regain our motivation. They also shed light on art as being therapeutic – through gardening, composing a poem, movement, etc.
The Pink Project is a mental health initiative by two psychologists, one of them is a Counseling Psychologist and a career counselor and the other one is a Sport and Exercise Psychologist. They highlighted a difference between mental illness and mental well-being; recommended self-care and therapy as ways of taking care of one’s mental health.
Dhyanaa with Saumya inspires people to make meditation and personal growth a part of their lifestyle through easy to follow, high-quality content. They conveyed that one should two things when struggling from a mental health issue – first, to listen to yourself; acknowledging your feelings and not pushing them and the carpet and two, reaching out to a social support system; having people who may be your friends, your family or even a therapist alongside you through your journey can help you recover much faster.
To end our campaign on a high note, we hosted an Instagram live session on 13th September 2020. We invited two experts to delve deeper into the subject of suicide prevention to help create a more empathetic and aware community. The experts invited for the session were Ms. Pragya Lodha, Program Director & Clinical Psychologist at The MINDS Foundation and Ms. Ramni Kaushik, Counselling Psychologist and Chief ‘People’s’ Officer at Mind Piper. To break the ice and make the session more engaging, Ms. Pragya asked the audience their ‘Dil ka rang!’ (The colour of their heart) to know how they were doing. She also conducted a few word association activities. Having interacted with many people and working in the field, both the experts actively interacted with the audience, answered a lot of their questions around the subject and addressed many problematic myths that exist in the society. There were constantly 30+ viewers and a total of 500 viewers in the session and the interaction turned out to be extremely insightful and informative.
Through this campaign, we could reach about 1,330 people. The engagement throughout the campaign was on high level. Our videos got around 100+ organic views and more than 250 people interacted in the Instagram stories. We anticipate that hopefully we created a lasting impact on each and every one of them. We believe that even the slightest of help and effort goes a long way and if that can save even one life, then it is definitely worth it and that was our very motive of even initiating a campaign around suicide prevention and awareness.
The suicide rates in India are alarming, and a lot of these cases can be prevented simply by breaking silence on these subjects. It is due to this reason that we thought it was of key importance to bring forth this subject and shed light on it. There is a lot of taboo around seeking help from a mental health professionals. A large number of experts are now committed to break these societal shackles to help people out and save as many lives as possible because #YouMatter.

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