The recent news of an JEE aspirant committing suicide has shaken the country. The 18-year-old’s heart wrenching suicide note to her parents, in which she calls herself a “loser” has broken many hearts. Actress Somy Ali, who helps victims of domestic abuse and rape through her US based NGO No More Tears, says that such psychological pain endured by this young girl is one that has been imposed on her by society.

“Let me begin by expressing my condolences to the parents for their loss and also state how horrific this is for anyone who is a sentient being. The loss of this child is simply intolerable as she had her entire life ahead of her. Having stated my sentiments, I also have to state an analysis given my educational background and the number of victims I have worked with who have tried to escape their plight through suicide.

I have read this child’s suicide note over and over again and it’s beyond evident that the words she has used for herself are not words she was born with assuming to be worthless and a loser. These words were instilled in her by either her parents with immense pressure to succeed or by her peers and surroundings. Taking one’s own life is because their psychological or physical pain is so intolerable that they choose to die,” she says.

She says that it is very important to spread awareness about mental health issues so that such incidents don’t happen. “Life has to feel so astronomically awful in one’s psyche that their only path is to end it to gain solace.

Again, I would like to make a plea to people with clout to please talk about mental health on their social media because this girl could have been saved had she reached out for help. The way our NGO is able to save many victims before they resort to taking their own lives. I am not saying that we shouldn’t post grandiose looking selfies depicting a perfect life, but for the sake of saving our youth or others, please post educational material on substantial matters too,” she says.

She adds that more celebrities need to talk about such issues. “Once again, the only one from our Hindi cinema who has done so is Deepika Padukone and that shows her valour and how much she cares to save others. To tell people that one is suffering from depression is frowned upon which I find despicable by our society in 2024.

This is why I cannot say enough about what Deepika has done for millions who follow her and may have changed their minds about killing themselves and sought help instead. We need more people with a huge following to make these issues normal conversational material without any judgment. If famous people keep displaying a life that consists of only happiness suicide rates will go up more than they already are and we will keep losing our youth.

No one is perpetually happy and everyone has ups and downs whether you are a celebrity or a lay person. By depicting otherwise, one is fabricating castles in the air which are literally killing our youth,” she says.

She adds, “I blame our society and more so in the social media era where all the youth are envious of how marvellous and painless everyone’s life is simply by looking at a picture. Nowadays, a picture says a thousand words with a facade of lies. Once again, we as a whole sweep mental health issues under the rug and anything that is the least bit uncomfortable to talk about. That’s the biggest elephant in every room universally.

People can and have been barbaric towards one another since the big bang and even in this modern era if you read the comments on anyone’s post your jaw will drop with the immense hateful words towards someone one does not even know.”