Let’s Take Care of Each Other: How to Prevent Suicidal Thoughts During the Pandemic

Written by: Afni Febriani Muzdalifah

This time of pandemic forces us to stay at home and diminish contact or meeting people to prevent the spreading of the virus. This condition sometimes makes us feel lonely and contemplate many things more than ever. Sometimes, when you have a lot of work and the fact that you can’t meet people for the time being, it becomes a problem and leads you to prolonged stress. Some people think that ending their lives is the best solution to end the problems. In previous years, the IASP (International Association of Suicide Prevention) noted that there had been approximately 300 cases of attempted suicide attempts in about 70 countries.


In Indonesia, there are still many stigmas about mental health and suicide circulating in the community. It happens because of the lack of knowledge about the importance of mental health, so many people still misunderstand the importance of mental health. We frequently hear that people with mental health disorders lack faith in God. This is one of the examples of a bad stigma that is often caught around us. Stigma and misinformation like this make mental health get worse. We usually recognise that people who want to seek help for their mental condition are afraid of being judged or getting a terrible stigma from the people around them.


It is not easy to find professional help or talk to someone about a mental issue. We might feel uncomfortable or ashamed. But in this pandemic, professional services such as psychologists and psychiatrists change their operating methods by using video conferences to meet their patients. We can also use this method to talk about our mental condition to someone we trust and are comfortable with.


There are many ways to help your family, friends, and loved ones that may have signs of suicide. The first thing you can do is continuously check their condition by asking how they are doing or simply asking what activities they are enjoying lately. Then always giving them a safe space and listen to their stories,  Don’t judge them even if you think you’re doing it for them.


If you are having thinking of suicidal, there are many ways to distract these thoughts. You can do some activities such as writing a diary and writing down your major emotions at the time. Don’t forget to write whatever makes you happy, no matter how small it is. Take a deep breath, and don’t forget to stay hydrated. You can watch something that calms you down, like funny animal videos or rewatching your favourite movie. If you think the things above do not solve your problem, you can seek professional help such as a doctor, therapist, or charity. Don’t be afraid to tell them if you feel something is wrong, no matter how small your problem is. It’s okay to ask for some help. End the stigma. You are not alone.


If someone is in a dangerous condition, please don’t hesitate to call emergency service number 119 or go to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. For more information to help others and yourself go check www.intothelightid.org.

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