On 9th September 2023, the Department of Psychiatry, MGIMS organized a one-day workshop on Early Detection and Prevention of Suicide under the aegis of the Indian Association for Social Psychiatry (IASP). The workshop was inaugurated by Dr.UC Garg (President of IASP). Dr BS Garg (Secretary, Kasturba Health Society), Dr AK Shukla (Dean, MGIMS), Dr KK Mishra, (Professor and Head of Psychiatry, MGIMS), faculty from MGIMS, AIIMS Nagpur and Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad. and residents were present at the inauguration. A total 33 participants including 10 social workers attended the workshop.
The event provided a comprehensive platform to discuss various aspects of suicide prevention. “This is a significant step towards addressing the pressing issue of suicide prevention”, said Dr Shukla while delivering his welcome address and thereby adding prestige and gravitas to the proceedings. Dr Garg emphasized the global significance of addressing suicide as a public health concern and highlighted the necessity for collaborative efforts among professionals, researchers, and policymakers. Dr KK Mishra introduced the concept of the workshop.
The academic sessions began with the workshop on risk assessment in attempted suicide by Dr. Suyog Jaiswal (Associate Professor and Head in Psychiatry at AIIMS Nagpur). He presented the latest research findings and assessment tools used in clinical practice to gauge suicide risk accurately. Participants gained insights into identifying warning signs, protective factors, and the importance of a thorough assessment to create effective intervention strategies. The session on suicide prevention in women was led by Dr. Rajshekhar Bipeta (Professor in Psychiatry at Osmania Medical College Hyderabad). He addressed the unique challenges that women face, including gender-specific risk factors such as domestic violence and societal expectations. Attendees learned about culturally sensitive approaches to suicide prevention in women. Dr. Pritam Chandak, (Child Psychiatrist at Nagpur), delved into the sensitive topic of suicide prevention among children and adolescents. He discussed the alarming rise in suicide rates among young people and provided strategies for early intervention and support. The crucial topic of suicide prevention among students was led by Dr. Sonakshi Jyrwa, (Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at AIIMS Nagpur). Participants gained valuable insights into implementing preventive measures within educational institutions, including counselling services and awareness campaigns. Dr. K.K. Mishra engaged a session on the association of substance use with suicide. He focussed on the connection between rising trends in substance use and suicide rates in the population. The final interactive session was led by Dr. Abhishek Raut, (Professor in Community Medicine, MGIMS) and Dr. Arjunkumar Jakasania (Associate Professor in Community Medicine MGIMS). The duo discussed the broader societal factors that contribute to suicide, such as economic disparities, discrimination, and social isolation. The audience learned how community-based interventions, public policies, and social support systems play a crucial role in preventing suicide. The session featured interactive workshops and case studies, allowing participants to apply the knowledge they gained. These hands-on activities facilitated a deeper understanding of risk assessment, communication skills, and the development of intervention plans.
The workshop concluded with a valedictory function chaired by Dr. Rajshekhar Bipeta, (Professor in Psychiatry at Osmania Medical College Hyderabad) and Dr. Subodh Gupta, (Professor and Head in Community Medicine, MGIMS). They emphasized the importance of continued research, awareness, and community engagement in addressing this global challenge. The Workshop on Early Detection and Prevention of Suicide was a resounding success, offering valuable insights and tools to address this critical issue. In the aftermath of the workshop, the organizers plan to conduct training sessions on suicide prevention for social workers and NGO professionals working in the field of mental health. The workshop served as a crucial step toward fostering collaboration and raising awareness about the need for early detection and prevention of suicide in our communities.