Together for Tomorrow–Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

The event, ‘Together for Tomorrow’, was organised by the School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Heritage (PPSH) as part of the observance of ‘Suicide Prevention Awareness Month’. The event was held on 26th September 2023 at the Prajna Pratishthan, CVV’s facility on Warriam Road, Kochi. Auditorium, Chinmaya Vishwa Vidyapeeth.

The event was organised in collaboration with the Maithri Foundation, a Kochi-based NGO working for suicide prevention in Kerala. Distinguished guests from the foundation included Mrs. Lenitha Annamma Joseph, Director of Maithri, advocates Rajesh R. Pillai and Litto Palathingal, and other dedicated volunteers. The audience comprised the Dean of Academics Dr. T. Asokan, Head of the School of PPSH Dr. Satheesh Varma, faculty members from various departments, and students of the School of PPSH.

The programme began with a warm welcome by Drishya V. Pillai (Representative of Internship, Placement & Alumni, Student Council, School of PPSH) who also served as the MC throughout the event. The event began with a prayer by Amruta H. S. (Extracurricular Affairs Liason, Student Council, School of PPSH). The inaugural address was delivered by Dr. T. Ashokan, who set the tone for the event with his wise words. Dr. Satheesh Varma followed with the Presidential Address, urging a sense of responsibility among the audience. This was followed by an informative address by Mrs. Lenitha Annamma Joseph who explained the services provided by the organisation, and its pivotal role in the prevention and awareness of suicide at the frontline level. She also provided guidance on the process of becoming a volunteer or member of the organisation.

The first guest speaker, Advocate Litto Palathingal, shared his profound expertise and practical experience in the field of suicide prevention. He encouraged an interactive session with the audience, stressing the importance of eliminating the stigma surrounding suicide and promoting open discussions. He emphasised using the correct terminology, which is ‘death by suicide’ as opposed to ‘committed suicide’. He illuminated the major root causes of suicide in our current society and urged individuals to take responsibility for addressing these causes. Adv. Litto explained that listening to anyone with suicidal feelings is the most important and significant action. Suicidal feelings, if not heard, often turn into suicidal thoughts, and plans and finally end up in the act of suicide. The talk was engaging as Adv. Litto encouraged maximum participation for the audience to voice their opinions and thoughts. The second guest speaker of the event, Advocate Rajesh R. Pillai shared his invaluable insights and experiences which inspired the listeners to do more for the cause.

Finally, the Drama Club of CVV took the event forward with a ‘Together for Tomorrow workshop’. The workshop began with an informative presentation by Adithya Kiron (Student Grievance Liaison, Student Council, School of PPSH) and Lubnaa Shibu, both second-year B.Sc. Applied Psychology students. Their presentation covered essential topics, including the correct terminology associated with suicide, the importance of language, the six approaches to suicide prevention, and the WHO framework for preventing suicide. They used simple and practical examples which facilitated understanding of certain concepts. They also explained the public health model which consists of four interconnected steps: Surveillance; Identifying Risk and Protective Factors; Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating Interventions; and Implementation.

Dr. Archana Chandran, Assistant Professor at the School of PPSH, presented mementoes as tokens of gratitude to Mrs. Lenitha Anamma Joseph, and the guest speakers, Adv. Litto Palathingal and Adv. Rajesh R. Pillai. The programme concluded with a vote of thanks by Charulatha Muthuraj, Chairperson of the Student Council at the School of PPSH.

Report by:
Amruta H. S.
B.Sc. Applied Psychology (Honours)
Extracurricular Affairs Liason, Student Council, School of PPSH