Early Intervention in mental health

Muscat: As numbers increase in suicide cases, experts feel there are ways and a need to bring in early intervention in mental health.

There are questions that arise what leads individuals to take the drastic step toward ending one’s life by committing suicide.  There are attempts made to commit suicide these are actually cries for help says Dr Hamed al Sinawi, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital.

He feels there is a need to talk more about suicide and bring in awareness on the mental health from this perspective because studies
have proven that suicide is the second most cause of death among teenagers.

“Internationally it has been proven that between the age of 18 and 24 as per the World Health Organisation suicide is a second cause of
death.  People who are depressed tend to go into negative thoughts and feelings that there is no hope to carry on with in the future.  They also have the sense of guilt that whatever they have achieved is worthless.  So they get to the point where there is no hope,” explained Dr Hamed.

Historically in Europe people used cooking gas to give up life until the government introduced natural gas that came directly to the
house.

“This limited the number of people dying from gas intoxication. People cause self harm because they are crying for help and they want the
people around them to know they are in pain. One of the problems is that people around the individual may not notice that he/she is going through depression. If a person has had an accident people will visit the individual with chocolates and cards to cheer them up, but when it comes to depression, many people will not understand it or relate to it,” he pointed out.

Teenagers, for example, might be going through bullying, which is becoming a constant factor especially with the current prevalence of
social media and adults might be going through financial and even relationship problems.

“Adults might feel trapped in which it is difficult and not take a step because it is considered a taboo and feels it is a selfish act.  Some families feel guilty wondering why they did not sense the person’s mental state before.

Sometimes it is the religion that stops them from ending their life.  Few years ago, we had come across a person who had attempted but could not handle the pain so called out for his wife to help. They brought him to the hospital but later he said he felt ashamed when people came to visit him.

On returning his family members were anxious to keep knives around and even felt he was safer in the hospital. He could not be trusted with his own life,” Dr Hamed explained.

When it comes to expatriates many times they are without their family so it might be difficult for others to even detect the changes in
a person.

“Expatriates are one of the highest groups who are at risk of committing suicide because they could be lonely, or going through social
issues or financial issues at home.  They can be homesick and overworked.  They do not have the social support.  We have that even if it is not a solution; we have people who could listen to us when we go through problems.  Loneliness is another factor of mental health problem leading to depression.  Sometimes it is a financial problem they feel they are stuck with and other times it is grieving for someone whom they have lost.  All these emotions can push a person to feel suicidal.”