Srinagar: With the rising cases of suicides, drug abuse and domestic violence affecting youth and women as a consequence of prolonged pandemic situation, HELP Foundation has started a series of counseling sessions and medical camps in Srinagar and Budgam, to support women and youth to cope with the situation.
“Suicide is an extreme step taken by any person especially youth, when they reach a mental stage where they cannot comprehend the situation any further and feel that ending their lives can solve their problems. However the person fails to realize that this step triggers a chain reaction and leads to further anxiety and guilt among their family members. They live all their life with the thought that they have failed their son or daughter”.
During the sessions the counselor advised the participants to immediately seek medical help or dial a helpline, if such thoughts come to them. “Suicide is a worst negative coping mechanism, leaves a mental scar on the family members and is also prohibited in Islam. It is rare that one observes suicidal tendencies among youth in a Muslim society as so many cases are being reported on a daily basis.
The psycho therapist Arbaaz held several therapeutic sessions during these workshops and encouraged women to vent out their feelings. She also held one on one sessions with the women groups as some were not comfortable to speak in front of others and listened patiently to their issues and suggested remedies.
Program Manager HELP Foundation Shaiq Nazir while giving brief about these sessions said that such sessions were imperative as situation is worsening. “You see the problems are linked with each other. People are mentally and physically fatigued due to the prolonged pandemic situation. Schools are closed, jobs are lost, income and confidence of male bread earner in the household has considerably gone down and he is supposed to earn for the family according to our societal norms. So they vent out their anger on their family and sensitive teenagers cannot take it more and they are attempting suicides. Our data has shown that frequency of attempts is very high, however only those cases make news who die, and we come to know about them.
We have also involved the village heads, imams and preachers to sensitize them about the volume of the problem and take the issue at their own level. We are also planning sessions within the communities to identify such tendencies at home as the covid situation improves further.
He further informed that, HELP Foundation has started several skill development courses in Art and Craft, Food processing and Agro based industry for Unemployed Youth and Marginalized Women to enable them to come out of poverty traps and lead a happier life. We wish for a society where no one has to think about suicide due to lack of income sources in their households. These counseling sessions are a further addition to our attempts for a just society.
Apart from counseling sessions we are also planning to have regular medical camps, we recently conducted an eye check at our Skill development Centre at Inderhama Srinagar for the catchment area.
Proper SOPs related to Covid-19 guidelines are followed during the camps and counseling sessions.