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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Time management to give your life a better direction

Time management is an art. The below tips can be useful to manage your time effectively.

1. Write the things down 2. Prioritize your list 3. Plan your week 4. Carry a notebook 5. Learn to say no 6. Think before acting 7. Continuously improve yourself 8. Think about what you are giving up to do your regular activities 9. Use a time management system 10. Identify bad habits 11. Don't do other's work 12. Keep a goal journal 13. Don't be a perfectionist 14. Beware of 'filler' tasks 15. Avoid 'efficiency traps'

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Over 100 Suicides in Gurgoan-IANS article

Gurgaon, May 11 (IANS) When Dana Sangma, an MBA student and niece of Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, committed suicide in her hostel room April 24, she was following in the footsteps of dozens of others who took the extreme step in Haryana's Gurgaon district which has recorded over 100 such incidents since January. At least one suicide, on an average, is taking place every 36 hours in Gurgaon as victims hang themselves, consume poison or jump from a height, according to police figures which show that 104 people have ended their lives in the first four months of 2012.
Besides the alarming trend of suicides, there has been a huge jump in the number of suicide attempts as well. Nearly 88 of the suicide victims since January were aged between 20 and 40 and a bulk of them were in their 20s. A total of 13 victims were aged 15-19 years, police data showed. Hanging oneself, consuming poison and jumping from heights seemed to be the most preferred modes of committing suicide in Gurgaon, bordering the national capital, that is home to several high rise buildings with offices of multinational companies. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) P.K. Mehta said they were willing to do every possible thing to prevent suicides. "But in case of harassment or property disputes, police can take action only if the victim approached them." In the last four months, 51 people hanged themselves, 33 ended their lives by consuming poison and 17 jumped to death in Gurgaon, official figures showed.
These figures do not include cases in which people set themselves on fire, ended their lives by drowning, jumping in front of trains or resorted to some other way of committing suicide, an official said. In January, six people, including a woman, hanged themselves, 12 people consumed poison while five died after jumping from high rises, say police. In February, the number of suicides due to hanging was 14, poison consumption seven and jumping from high buildings was eight. In March, the figures were 15, six and six respectively. In April, there were 13 suicides due to hanging, six because of poison consumption and six due to falls from high rises. The reasons for the suicide spurt in Gurgaon may be varied, but experts suspect depression could be the biggest killer. Doctor Bhramdeep Sindhu, senior consultant clinical psychologist at the civil hospital here, said everyone occasionally felt the blues but these feelings were fleeting and passed away in a couple of days. "When a person has a depression disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning and causes distress to both the person with the disorder and those who care for him or her," he said.
"Depression is a common but serious illness and most who experience it need treatment to get better," he said, adding that daily almost 30-35 such patients with similar problems were consulting him. The chief medical officer of a government hospital here told IANS: "Increasing suicidal tendency is a social as well as medical problem. We are ready to provide psychologists at special camps if some NGO takes the initiative." (Pardeep Singh can be contacted at

Article on Aasra in MSN

Aasra Fighting to prevent suicide
11 May 2012

“If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.”- Loretta Girzartis. Depression is the topmost occupational disease of the 21st century says the World Health Organisation and estimates that a life is lost every 40 seconds to suicide. Most suicides occur in the age group of 15-35 years, and India loses about one lakh young people to suicides every year.* Shocking isn’t it? Looks like we have an epidemic that is slowly turning into a pandemic!
Suicide, the term itself is taboo. In this increasingly competitive, stressful world, not everyone has the strength to cope with life’s pressures. Extreme pressures of competition, blatant consumerism where nothing is ever enough, lack of emotional support and stability, stressful work environments, unrealistic goals and loneliness are just few of the causes that drives youngsters towards taking their lives. They simply are unable to cope up with their surroundings and sink deeper and deeper into a depression that goes either unnoticed or neglected by their caregivers / companions / peers. Suicide by a family member can leave their near and dear ones devastated; it is something that they can never reconcile with and tend to carry guilt and shame lifelong. Most often they blame themselves for what happened and somewhere, the society ‘silently’ holds them responsible.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” - Albus Dumbledore. Aasra is a non-governmental organisation established in 1996 in Mumbai with a 24*7 helpline dedicated to help callers abandon suicidal thoughts. In an enlightening conversation with Johnson Thomas, the Founder-Director of Aasra, we understood the delicate issue of suicide, the gross negligence it faces, and how Aasra is fighting to prevent it. Johnson Thomas is a journalist and social worker by profession.

Do tell us how Aasra began?
During the mid-90s, we saw an alarming increase in the number of suicides by school children and unfortunately nothing was being done to address the issue. As social workers, a team of us decided to do something about it and soon founded Aasra and we managed to get a helpline number – 022 27546669 in 1998. Aasra functions as a unit of Befrienders Worldwide/Samaritans, an international organisation working towards better emotional and mental health since 1960s which started as a ‘listening service’ to the distressed in the UK. Its trigger was the suicide of a 13-year-old girl who thought she was ‘unclean’ since she was bleeding to death.

Why are school children and teenagers victims of suicide most of the time?
Children are fragile. Their personality is yet to develop and they often succumb to the pressures of expectations their parents/teachers have from them. It is our lifestyle that is to blame. The present day nuclear families, single-parent families leave no room for a support system a child/youngster can fall back on. Caregivers/parents most often compensate their lack of personal attention and care with material comforts. This pushes the child into loneliness with no one to voice their concerns with. The lack of coping skills, loneliness, exam pressures, pressures to excel pushes them to the extreme step of suicide.

A lonely child is a doomed child.
Teenagers suffer from the same problems but it is accentuated in them because at this age, they don’t share much with their caregivers and depend solely on peers. Peer pressures can play havoc on a youngster’s psyche. Emotional issues and exam pressures take toll on them, their self-esteem suffers and they end up being self-destructive.

What about suicides seen among young adults?
Our modern lifestyle is such that we are exposed to too much. It is so easy to be carried off our feet. Young adults with well-paying jobs and high-flying lives, usually end up partying too much, fall victim to alcohol and substance abuse. Depression is a modern day epidemic. Stressful work atmosphere and pressures of everyday life is spreading this epidemic. Again they have no emotional support system they can fall back on and very easily lose themselves. Making a comeback is a difficult task and they find no help to do so. Taking their lives seems an easier option, to get out of the mess they find themselves in. They are unable to realise that they are in the golden years of their lives.

How does Aasra help people in distress?
We at Aasra assure our distressed callers a warm, empathetic listening service. We ‘actively’ listen by being non-judgmental, non-critical and compassionate. Just speaking about their feelings helps callers alleviate their despair. We offer a kind ear to anyone in stress and despair through our 24*7 helpline. Our volunteers are trained to offer professional and confidential care and support to the depressed and the suicidal. Crisis intervention at the right time is crucial to save a life in despair. People, who are contemplating suicide call us when they come across our helpline number. We give them an empathetic ear with care and concern, they open up and express their pain, we counsel them and it helps them most of the time. Just talking helps. We also hold workshops in various schools, colleges, and companies all over India. The Indian Embassy in Dubai had solicited our services in 2011 to train their local staff on managing a helpline for Indian immigrants there. Indian immigrants often face a lot of psychological and emotional hardships in foreign lands. We have held training workshops for volunteers to run similar helplines in various Indian cities like Pune, Hyderabad and Cochin. “Join in the drive against suicide, become a volunteer and take a pledge to stop suicide”, signs off Johnson Thomas.

Contact details:
104, Sunrise Arcade, Plot No. 100, Sector 16, Koparkhairane, Navi Mumbai – 400 709 Phone: 022 27546667
Official Website
*Aasra’s official website
By, Gayathri V Patil

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

22 suicides reported in 4 months in Gurgaon(Aasra in TOI ,delhi)

Times of India Gurgaon
22 suicides reported in 4 months in Gurgaon Vineet Gill, TNN Apr 27, 2012, 03.02AM IST

GURGAON: On an average, at least one suicide takes place every week in Gurgaon. In the past four months, 22 suicide deaths were reported from the city. While this data is alarming enough, police records don't even account for the large and rising number of attempted suicides. Is this inevitable in stressful urban life, or does it show how little we care for mental health? According to experts in clinical psychology, both these points need emphasis if we are to understand suicide and help prevent it.
Dr Roma Kumar, senior consultant clinical psychologist at the Max Hospital, gets around 12-14 depression- and other stress-related cases every month. "Suicide is the thirrd leading cause of death among adolescents of 15-24 years of age. And the sixth leading cause among children of 5-14 years of age." Most of the cases reported from Gurgaon have indeed involved young post-adolescents. "Suicidal people tend to be severely depressed. At the same time unable to recognize their symptoms. More importantly, people around them are unable to recognize their symptoms, too," said Kumar. Stress and depression are common, but some have lower threshold levels and are driven to extremes by their despair. Kumar prescribes 24/7 suicide helpline and counseling centres for those in need.
Gurgaon, despite the soaring suicide rate, doesn't have a single helpline for depressives and others showing suicidal tendencies - a lack, which, according to suicide prevention activists, is contributing to the problem. "Counselling can help a lot. Simply talking can help a lot," said Honey Chandaani, a psychiatric counsellor based in New Delhi, who deals with suicidal patients. "Suicide is the culmination of unbearable stress, shame and guilt. And before a case goes out of hand, counselling can work wonders," he said. Chandaani says that offices, schools and colleges should set up workshops and special sessions for those seeking psychiatric help. As does Johnson Thomas, a suicide prevention activist, who runs round-the-clock suicide helplines across the country, Aasra. "We get about 30 calls a day from all over the country," he said. Thomas believes that in cities like Gurgaon, lifestyle changes and high-speed-living are 'making a psychological dent.' "There are a lot of people who have been suddenly thrust into jobs, which give a lot, in terms of money, and take a lot, in terms of peace of mind and stability."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Aasra intern volunteer creating awareness in a Borivili Housing society

Aasra intern volunteer creating awareness in a Borivili Housing society after the spate of Mother-child/children suicides, as part of the Breathe campaign

Aasra stats and Suicide awareness effort at Landmark Quiz Show

The landmark Quiz Show was hel at St Andrews Auditorium, Bandra West on 1st May 2012 from 3.30 pm onwards and had nearly 1000 + participants. aasra volunteers Johnson, Chandrasekhar and Shivanand were one of the teams who participated. They distributed bookmarks and spoke about the service in addition to wearing AASRA tees to generate curiosity and visibility.

Suicides-press reports, 306 suicide and abetment law and copy of suicide note

Aasra stats ,events and Orientation updates

Friday, May 4, 2012

Keep stress at Bay- Gain confidence through breathing

Gaining confidence through breathing By Steve Hart
l Learning how to breathe properly can help you become more confident and decrease stress. Knowing how to breathe correctly can help people overcome low self-esteem says Clare Trethewey, a breath integration practitioner, whose work includes helping those who feel bullied and stressed at work. _________________ Breath integration is based on yoga, as well as meditation, Taoism and psychology. Photo / Warren BucklandKnowing how to breathe correctly can help people overcome low self-esteem says Clare Trethewey, a breath integration practitioner, whose work includes helping those who feel bullied and stressed at work. She says 90 per cent of what we think about comes from our subconscious and once we can connect with those hidden feelings and understand them, they become insignificant - leading people to feel more self-confident and outgoing. She says: "Fear plays a big part in how people react to situations at work. And when you understand what fear is, and how we create it, then that understanding can be applied to all sorts of situations - not just employment." Trethewey says the first step to overcoming fear and wiping out the feelings of stress is to understand how stress is created. "You have to avoid thoughts such as 'how am I going to cope', 'they won't want me' or 'I'll probably get it wrong' because these are self-sabotaging thoughts," she says. "These are the thoughts that are going to cause you stress because they are judgemental thoughts - that we may not be good enough for the job and that puts pressure on ourselves. "These types of thoughts focus on what 'might' happen. If you focus on what you don't want, then that's what you'll get. "And that causes fear because you are thinking about the worst possible thing that could happen. That could include being shown up, being exposed, being made to look like an idiot at work. If that's what you are thinking about then you will become nervous, worried and tense." _____________________________ _____________________________ Trethewey says thoughts such as these cause people to create feelings that make them feel uncomfortable, can overwhelm them and make people panic causing them to hold their breath and lead to shallow breathing. "Then you feel stressed, powerless and victimised by what you are telling yourself might happen.' Trethewey calls it the "anxiety of expectation' and says it is caused by people focusing on their perception of how they are viewed by work colleagues, rather than how they want to come across at work. "People do not show their emotions. You see it all the time. People will put their hand over their mouth when they are upset to stifle their natural emotion and feelings, and deep down it slowly builds up," says Trethewey. "In addition, nervousness and anxiety are created by what people tell themselves. If they can stand back they will see their true selves and cut through that self-imposed boundary.' She says a technique called 'breath integration' is a way for people to find their inner confidence and to feel much more comfortable with themselves - and to perhaps understand why they feel like victims when they get out of bed in the morning. Breath integration has not been scientifically proved to help people, but it has gained popularity on the back of anecdotal evidence and on the word of its founder - New Zealander Colin Sisson who has written a book about his 'discovery'. Trethewey was taught breath integration by Sisson and has been a breath integration practitioner for five years. She says that the technique is based on yoga, meditation, Taoism and psychology. During sessions with her clients Trethewey helps people bring their anxieties to the surface and then "breathe through them'. "When we relax and exhale we allow the feeling and the experience to flow through and it dissolves - then the feeling of fear or stress goes.' She says just because people may not give credibility to their feelings, it doesn't mean they are not there. "Slowly those feelings overwhelm people," says Trethewey. "If you are feeling nervous then what's wrong with that? Don't make how you are feeling wrong. Feel it and deal with it and keep breathing. And if you can do that then you will feel better and stronger.' Trethewey says people often feel empowered after one session of breath integration but says that having 10 sessions is normal. "This work is about how we create stress and how to stop doing it. You learn to stop giving your power away and once you understand you are the creator of your feelings then you can feel however you want." ******************************************************* KEEPING STRESS AT BAY Actively choose to pull the inhale in when breathing. Relax the exhale by letting go all control of the exhale. This is meant to be a passive breath. Correct breathing is active - passive, not the other way around. If we are not relaxing the exhale we will create struggle. When we consciously breathe we also eliminate the gaps between the inhale and exhale and then stress begins to leave our body because the balance of the breath is correct. source: