Good Shepherd Lay Mission Partners of Bangalore conducted a SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS SEMINAR on 15th September 2018 at St. Patrick's Church Hall,
in collaboration with Health Commission (Archdiocese of Bangalore) and the Indian Institute of Pastoral Health Theology Bangalore.
This awareness program was the need-of-the-hour to address the high rate of suicides in our country today especially among youngsters. We thank the Archbishop of Bangalore, who through the Health Commission enabled the Good Shepherd Lay Partners of Bangalore to initiate this project.
In-line with the Asia Pacific recommendations of the Good Shepherd International Committee Report - July 2018, which was presented by Jason Furtado, International co-coordinating Mission Partners Meeting at St. Martha’s Hospital,Bangalore committee member, to the Mission Partners of the Province of the South West India; the concept was then taken forward by Mr. Shaji Mathew (Lay Mission Partner - Bangalore) and Sr. Marina K. rgs to the Archdiocese of Bangalore, who consented to take on this awareness program. Mr. Jason Furtado sponsored most of the event.
Esteemed dignitaries and resource persons like the Chief Guest Mr. Charles Lobo, Chief Post Master General of Karnataka, Prof Samuel Rukshan (Indian Institute of Psychology and Research) shared their experience and how to identify the signs of suicidal tendencies and how timely intervention can help precious lives. Fr. William Eronimoose, Director Indian Institute of Pastoral Health Theology sensitized the group that suicide was not the fault of the individual but the failure of the society and the people around them who have let them down. The seminar attracted people from all age groups that includes professional, religious, youngsters from various colleges and schools.
Dr. John Tharakan (Joint Secretary to the Archdiocese Health Commission) conducted an interactive session with the gathering which gave further insight and the depth about suicide by the students was a big take away of the day. Some participants on the sidelines felt that the Churches, Schools, and social organizations should come forward and conduct many more such awareness programs on suicide prevention to all sections of society to foster compassion and empathy for depressed and suffering people.
Mr. Shaji Mathew proposed the vote of thanks and pointed out that this is just a beginning of many such holistic health awareness programs to be conducted all over the diocese. With the overwhelming response from the people, there is the need for more programs for captive audiences such as youth groups, students, working people, and social workers. The Health commission is keen to spread out "Suicide Prevention Awareness" to all Institutions under Archdiocese of Bangalore. The key message is that suicide is preventable, there is help, and there is Hope.
We plan to conduct similar awareness talks around the state.
Mission Partners, Bangalore
Province of South West India
AWARENESS OF SUICIDE PREVENTION