Recognising that the rates of suicides in Goa is a disturbing issue COOJ launched the Suicide Prevention Program in 2012. COOJ organized a week long awareness program on Suicide Prevention as part of the World Suicide Prevention Week celebrations which helped us realize the need for a more organized program to tackle this issue using various approaches with the main aim of reducing the rate of suicides in Goa.
Since the start of our program we have been systematically trying to identify key areas to work in and so far these have been some of our achievements:
- Run a Helpline – 0832 2252525 operational from Monday to Friday 3-7 pm.
- Conducted 5 Mindfulness Based Active Listening trainings for volunteers to man the helpline.
- Conducted 55 gatekeeper workshops
- Conducted Stress Buster programs in colleges and schools
- Celebrated World Suicide Prevention Day every year since 2012
- Conducted inter-collegiate competitions like Konkani One Act Play, Street Skits, Ad-film, Documentary, Short Film, Photography, Poster etc.
- Disseminated literature through pamphlets in Marathi, Konkani & English
- Conducted month long “ Yellow Campaigns” for the last two years
- Piloting a postvention program
- Built a network of interested partners .
In Brief about celebrating Worls Suicide Prevention Day:
World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death. A candle is lit at 8 pm to remember a lost loved one and for the survivors of suicide . Since 2012 on 10th September COOJ has observed World Suicide Prevention Day in Goa , inviting people from various walks of life to be part of it.
In Brief about The COOJ Listening Helpline:
The COOJ Listening Helpline was inaugurated on the 3rd of September, 2013 with the number 0832 2252525, operational from Monday to Friday between 3 pm – 7pm at Menezes Braganza Hall Panaji at the hands of Vice Chancellor of the Goa University, Dr Satish Shetye, Padmashri Fr Romuald D’souza and noted Goan musician Remo Fernandes.
The Helpline is manned by volunteers who come from varied back grounds. They are trained in a four day course called Mindfulness Based Active Listening which trains people to be more equipped in recognizing the warning signs, understanding risk factors & offer appropriate & timely intervention to people who are at risk to suicide. So far the Helpline has received over 475 calls many being repeat callers.
In Brief about the Gatekeeper Workshops
Gatekeeper workshop is a 90 minute workshop designed to provide professionals and paraprofessionals with a wide range of skills and knowledge to improve their ability and confidence to work with suicidal people and make referrals to professional help.
Inspite of this the rate of suicide is still high therefore the need to train key people in the community to be alert to the signs & to develop skills for appropriate actions.
Since 2015 COOJ has conducted close to 60 gatekeeper workshops all over Goa reaching out to teachers, principals , students, doctors, community health workers, government employees, religious, media, PTAs, police personnel & student counselors.
The Yellow Campaigns
are awareness campaigns on suicide prevention which is symbolized through the Yellow Ribbon. Hence the color chosen for our campaigns. In 2014 the campaign was inaugurated in Mapuca at the hands of the Deputy Chief Minister Shree Francis D’souza. From the following year we started targeting specific areas in Goa by organizing the Yellow Ponda in 2015 & Yellow Vasco in 2016.
Through the Yellow Campaigns we were able to networked with various organisations, clubs, schools, colleges , Govt. departments NGOs in order to:
- Create Awareness that Suicide is a preventable condition
- Create awareness on the sources of help
- Train groups of people on understanding suicide, risk factors and basic intervention
- Promote efforts to reduce access to lethal means and methods of self harm
- Understand the psychological needs of the community and try to bridge the gap
- Develop a network of partners within the community
Organising Panel Discussions & Competitions in Schools & Colleges since 2012 (Pics) Feedback
I got in contact with COOJ through a work friend. I have been helping a troubled teen for a while, but with my knowledge on how to go about with suicidal teens is very limited to what I know, I needed some professional help. COOJ has proved to be invaluable with their amazing support and have been ever ready to help out, no matter the hour. I am extremely grateful for their commendable work in the field of Suicide Prevention……
Sherwin Futardo (22 yrs Asst. Professor at PCCE )
When you look at a person, any person, everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed their life. Anxiety, depression and panic attacks are not signs of weakness. They are signs of trying to remain strong for way too long.
- “The person who completes suicide, dies once. Those left behind die a thousand deaths, trying to relive those terrible moments and understand … Why?” – Clark (2001)
- “Never never never give up.” – Winston Churchill
- “You don’t want to die, you just want the pain to go away.”
- “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” – Mary Anne Radmacher
COOJ Listening Helpline Service : 0832-2252525 (Monday to Friday : 3pm to 7pm)
Conducting: Gatekeeper Workshops & Life Skill Workshops for Students
Email Befriending : Youmatterbycooj@gmail.com