Call for suicide prevention — (The Express Tribune)

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The Express Tribune

By Editorial

Published: September 4, 2018

On September 1, another person allegedly committed suicide. A young and upcoming model, Anam Tanoli, was found dead in her home in Lahore’s Defence area. The 26-year-old was said to be suffering from depression.

While investigations are underway to determine if any foul play was involved in Anam’s case, the increasing number of suicide cases in the country is alarming. On the same day, a 55-year-old man who was battling several illnesses for many years committed suicide in Karachi. Pages of this newspaper have also reported cases of suicide frequently. But despite the soaring numbers, mental illnesses are still considered a taboo. Many people either completely disregard its existence, while many others choose to sweep it under the rug out of fear of being ostracised from communities.

On the other hand, the lack of professionals available makes it even harder for people to reach out. As of 2014, only 400 psychiatrists and five psychiatric hospitals existed within the entire country, according to the WHO. This means the psychiatrist-to-person ratio was an alarming one to half a million people. Things have not changed much since as tackling mental health issues have not been in the priority list of policymakers.

In the wake of this, a call from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s presidential nominee, Arif Alvi, asking for a readily available 24/7 psychiatric help after Anam’s case is a silver lining. Such a helpline is even more important at a time when Pakistan’s young generation is vulnerable to falling prey to games such as the Blue Whale and Momo challenge — both pushing players to complete self-harming tasks. The recent ban placed on these games by Federal Information Technology Minister Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui is a short-term solution. More robust measures are required to help those who are pushed to the brink of existence.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2018.

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Dr Arif Alvi calls for 24/7 depression helpline following Anam Tanoli’s tragic death — (Pakistan Today)

Pakistani model Anam Tanoli’s untimely and tragic death left friends, family and fans shocked and sent waves of grief across the fashion industry. Tanoli’s death ruled to be a case of suicide, has sparked a debate on depression and people including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s Presidential nominee, Dr Arif Alvi, have called for a 24/7 depression helpline.

Taking to Twitter, Dr Alvi wrote, “Millions of people specially women under different socio-economic pressures face depression and some commit suicide. Psychiatric help should be readily available including a 24/7 helpline.”

Model Anam Tanoli ‘commits suicide’ in Lahore http://tribune.com.pk/story/1793079/ … Millions of people specially women under different socio-economic pressures face depression & some commit suicide. Psychiatric help should be readily available including a 24/7 helpline.

The suggestion was well-received and people under the tweet shared that a 24/7 helpline is a necessity in Pakistan.

According to the police, the 26-year-old model was found dead in her home in Lahore’s Defence area on Saturday. Her body was found hanging and the post-mortem examination concluded it to be a case of suicide.

Her family in their statements to the police revealed that the model, who had returned from Italy a few months ago, had been under mental stress and reportedly had an appointment scheduled for the same day with a therapist.

Members of the entertainment and fashion industry also took to social media to share their grief and shock.

Actor and social media star, Mawra Hocane wrote that though she did not know Anam personally, she spoke to a close friend of the model and is “devastated that a young beautiful girl succumbed to the bullies around her.” She detailed that her friend revealed that Anam was “deeply affected by social media trolling & bullying at work” and was “suffering from depression.”

Mawra further said, “I wish she was stronger but I also wish that we were kinder, all of us. Be on a watch, anyone around us could be suffering from depression and your words can take someone’s life. I’m sorry #AnamTanoli on behalf of everyone who pushed you take such a step. My condolences & love to the family!”

“It is about time we treat depression as an illness so we can comfort the ones suffering, at least. Seek medical help without reluctance. Please don’t be afraid of the society, protect yourself first!” Mawra signed off.

Actor Armeena Khan wrote on Twitter, “A young, up and coming Pakistani/Italian model died yesterday. On the face of it, it looks like suicide by hanging. I wonder what could possibly have driven a talented young girl like that to take her own life. RIP.

A young, up and coming Pakistani/Italian model died yesterday. On the face of it, it looks like suicide by hanging. I wonder what could possibly have driven a talented young girl like that to take her own life. R.I.P. #anamtanoli #depressionkill

Model Rehmat Ajmal penned a heartbreaking note asking everyone to support each other and spread kindness instead of hate

Meanwhile, renowned fashion designer, Rizwan Beyg called out the fashion industry for sidelining Anam’s tragic suicide and not paying attention to the underlining problem.

“Amidst all the awards and celebration the tragic suicide of Anum Tanoli has been totally sidelined and not been addressed by the fashion fraternity, ” wrote the designer on Facebook.

He continued, “I never knew Anum or worked with her but the awful awful stories surrounding her suicide are a wake-up call for all those of us who still have a conscience and some shred of humanity left. Stories of body shaming and downright vicious attacks on a young vulnerable girl are hugely disturbing and what is even more disturbing is a total lack of remorse, sadness or indignation on her passing. I am ashamed Anum…and sorry I was silent at the injustice you faced at the hands of the fraternity I am part of. Rest in peace Anum because I certainly cannot.”

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Model Anam Tanoli ‘commits suicide‘ — The Daily Times (Pakistan)

Model and fashion designer Anam Tanoli was found dead under mysterious circumstances at her Lahore residence on Sunday.

Tanoli’s body was found hanging in a room at her residence, in what is being considered a possible suicide.

The up and coming model had recently returned from Italy. The police said that they were investigating the matter from all angles despite it appearing as a possible suicide.

A statement of her mother was also recorded by the police which said that the 26-year-old was under “mental stress” and had an appointment set with a psychiatrist today.

After news of her unfortunate demise circulated, social media users offered tributes to Tanoli and emphasised on the need to take mental health issues seriously.