Project SPEAK - MSCTRF
Tamil Nadu has the second highest rate of death by suicide in India, and Madurai has the second highest rate within the state (NCRB 2020). Survivors of suicide, and post-vention work is an area that is especially neglected within existing suicide prevention paradigms and interventions. Survivors of suicide loss are a group identified at risk of suicide themselves, and whose experiences often include shame, guilt, isolation, loneliness, loss of social networks, and other acute stresses and mental health concerns (certain stress scales place the experience of suicide loss as the second most stressful experience a person can live through, second only to surviving torture in concentration camp settings). There are further gendered dimensions to the experience of suicide loss, where women survivors of suicide loss are stigmatized not only for the loss, but also for being women survivors.
Spearheaded by women survivors of suicide loss themselves, MSCTRF aims to address these realities through a pilot project focusing on services and support to women survivors of suicide loss. Project SPEAK will be piloted in Vadipatti and Alanganallur blocks of Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, The project includes:
1. Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) model of post-vention service: outreach by trained team to survivors both immediately post event and long-term. This will include developing relationships with various stakeholders in the community (law enforcement, NGOs, SHGs, etc.) for a coordinated and sensitive community response, and establishing protocols for the same.
2. Peer-led support groups for survivors, online and in-person.
3. Awareness, sensitisation and trainings for various stakeholders (Mental Health Professionals, police, media, teachers, etc.) on suicide and suicide loss.