Picture for representational purpose only.
JAMSHEDPUR: In order to check suicides, East Singhbhum district administration recently partnered with Jeevan, a Steel City-based suicide prevention centre. This comes at a time when the district recorded more than 100 suicides since the imposition of the lockdown in March, with at least 80 in the last four months.
As a part of the initiative, the administration pasted posters and put up banners in at least two dozen locations across Jamshedpur, including at the quarantine centres. Deputy commissioner Suraj Kumar took personal interest in the initiative, said sources in the administration. The posters and banners contain the centre’s helpline numbers (9297777500, 9297777499, 9955377500, 9955435500) and the office address.
Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) City Manager Ambuj Kumar Singh said the initiative is in the interest of society hence the urban municipal body is cooperating in putting up banners and posters. “We will further help Jeevan if their officials suggest us new locations in the city for the banners,” Singh said.
Speaking to the media, director of the centre, Jeoraj Jain said, “Suicides have increased in Jamshedpur ever since the lockdown was imposed. It’s been just four days since the posters were pasted and we are already receiving calls four to five times more than the usual inflow of around five to seven.” Jain informed that unlike pre-lockdown times, the centre is not running 24×7 and had to change the timing to 10am-9pm in view of the night curfew in Jamshedpur.
“We also faced a shortage of staff after the lockdown was imposed, but after the relaxations, things are better,” Jain said.
He also said that most of the callers are factory workers, vendors and small-time earners whose income have been hit, leading them to “anxiety and mental depression.”
Jain said that most of the callers are above 40 years of age who feel dejected after losing their source of income. “Of the total number of suicides, 30 were committed by people above 45 years of age,” said an official at the centre.
Jain added, “We are also planning to organise counselling sessions at quarantine centres and for patients in home isolation with support from psychiatrists. Counselling is the best tool to deal with depressed minds and works wonders when used to de-stress people.”