Link of childhood trauma and depression with suicide behaviour is a wake-up call for India

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 4:  The reality that more lives are lost to suicide in India than in road accidents serves as a critical wake-up call, highlighting the urgent need for mental health interventions to address this growing challenge.

At the recent International Conference on Suicide Prevention at MS University, Vadodara, a team from Ahmedabad-based Wellness Space presented three groundbreaking papers. Comprising Dr Gunjan Y Trivedi, Dr Hema Ramani, Parishi Thakor, Neha Pandya and Riri G Trivedi, the papers aimed to equip psychologists and parents with the tools to identify risk factors for suicidal behaviour and implement effective preventive measures.

The first paper focused on differentiating between self-harm and suicidal behaviour, shedding light on the role of childhood trauma and various mental health and behaviour risks as contributing factors. It emphasises the distinction between self-harm and suicidal behaviour, offering insights for parents to incorporate into their parenting styles. 

The second paper delved into predicting suicidal behaviour using parameters such as childhood trauma, and internalisation and externalisation tendencies. It revealed that individuals with a history of traumatic experiences such as more exposure to childhood trauma or adverse childhood experiences are at a higher risk of self-harm and suicide behaviour, including ideation, plan or attempts. It also identified major depressive disorder, self-harm and a history of irrational decision-making as other risk factors.

The third paper outlined the effective strategies for suicide risk assessment and intervention. The paper, based on the ASQ (Ask Suicide Screening Questions) toolkit, provided a comprehensive framework for psychologists and psychotherapists to identify individuals with suicide risk and support them.

Wellness Space, known for its extensive research in the area of long-term mental health implications of childhood trauma, recently collaborated with researchers from IIT Mandi to investigate the link between childhood emotional abuse, neglect, trauma, and suicidal behaviour. Using machine learning, the study identified the risk factors for suicidal behaviour, underscoring the need for targeted interventions.

The Wellness Space team also offers training in trauma-informed care, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder management (CPTSD), hypnotherapy, and inner-child integration therapy providing holistic support to those affected by childhood trauma and its effects.

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