Death has a very nasty way of making everyone around it pause for a second. In a way it’s really good that we have to stop, look up and think about everything. We feel. It makes us human. But death can have lots of negative impact on people around it. That can especially be the case if that death is a result of a traumatic experience. Something similar is happening right now after a student in Lahore recently allegedly took her own life, at her university.
The death of a university student in Lahore is making people talk about uncomfortable things
On November 26, 2018 a student at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore suffered sever injuries after a fall from a multi-story building. She was taken to a hospital where she was allegedly refused service because it was a case of “attempted” suicide at that time hence a police case, she was then taken to General Hospital where she is said to have undergone surgery but she could not survive.
Her death has led to murmurs and rumors that she was suffering from depression.
People have been sharing her Instagram posts and her Facebook statuses where she talks about death and possibly even harming herself as a sort of “sign” that she was suffering from mental health issues and could have possibly been suicidal.
There are also people who claim to be from her family saying on social media that the death wasn’t a result of suicide but she had slipped.
Believe what you may want to but you can’t run away from the trauma of seeing someone die in such a traumatic way before your very eyes. Witnesses of the incident have been posting on social media, sharing how they’re unable to process the gravity of what happened before them and there are people who knew the student through social media or only as acquaintance sharing how much they realize she impacted their lives only after her death.
I used to follow Rushaan. I had a strong crush on her and I used to reply to her stories all the time. And she always replied me in a jolly way. She always looked so happy in her Instagram posts.
She ended her life today. It’s so difficult for me to absorb.
— Haseeb (@HaseebTheShah) November 26, 2018
Can’t even imagine the pain Rushaan must have endured until the point that it became so unbearable that she decided to end her life. I pray that her soul now finds the peace that she was desperately looking for
— 🌻 (@itslamohere) November 26, 2018
There are people who are reminded of the recent death of model Anam Tanoli, also from Lahore, in the wake of this student’s
Anam took her own life in what is also being assumed as depression. She was undergoing mental health issues and was said to have a scheduled appointment with her therapist the day she was found dead.
People on social media are making a connection with how important it is to talk about depression in the light of these two incidents.
It is definitely important to talk about mental health issues but are we even providing people that much needed safe space to talk about their issues?
In a society that is quick to dismiss any mental health concern with a swift, “namaz parho, Quran parho yaar, sab theek hojaega. Dil ko tasali milti hai, ye sab baatein insaan tab sochta hai jab Allah se du’ur ho” one really can’t expect people to really open up about the struggles they are going through.
Ailments of the body can be dealt with through surgery and a rigorous course of antibiotics but ailments of the mind (and heart?) are much more complicated. Certainly there are medicines available for people who have actual chemical imbalances in their minds and bodies that result in those mental issues but you can’t treat just about anything by numbing a person’s feelings with a heavy doze of medicine.
So what can you as people start doing to make others around you feel safe enough to open about their depression, or any other mental health issue?
If you want people to not take their lives, if you want people to talk about their mental health issues, if you want people to not suffer from depression, then it is your responsibility to make the environment around them safe enough for them to know they can talk to someone about anything that hurts them.
You also need to realize that you may not always understand what the other person is going through. What upsets someone else may not upset you but it is important to realize to that whatever has caused them distress is important to them. Don’t dismiss it as a “minor” thing or tell them to cheer up just because you would have. It is not always easy to just “cheer up”.
Listen, be kind and if you think what they’re sharing is something you cannot be helpful in navigating then please offer to help them in finding proper professional help. That’s the best thing you can do for someone suffering from mental health issues. That and not mocking them or dismissing them for needing a mental health professional or being “sad”.
Model Anam Tanoli’s Death Is A Strong Reminder That Pakistani Social Media Seriously Needs Mental Health Awareness