Change Direction: A Suicide Awareness Campaign | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 08, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:19 PM, September 11, 2017

Change Direction: A Suicide Awareness Campaign

Giving up and giving in to the hustle and bustle of this stressful city seems more alarming than ever. With the recent news of attempted suicides filling the air (and also, many being successful in the attempts taken), Corporate Trainer and Life Coach G. Sumdany Don and his good friend, Tawsif Alam, Managing Director of Vertical Horizon, knew that a step must be taken to raise awareness against such actions. 

Don and Tawsif reached out to Nazmul Haque, Chairman of Prottoy Medical Clinic. They expressed their wish to conduct a session with the motto of allowing the participants to access information about depression and various other aspects regarding mental health. As a result, 'ChangeDIRECTION – A Suicide Awareness Campaign', powered by Rangpur Riders, came into being on August 24, 2017. This half-a-day session took place at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, where the many root causes for the on-going suicide cases in this country were addressed. Out of the 300 participants, almost 250 of them were teenagers and the rest were comprised of parents.

Photo Credit: WiKreate

Among the many speakers were Brig. General (Retd) Prof. Dr. Md. Nazrul Haque, Chief Consultant and Psychiatrist, and Tamima Tanjin, Senior Psychologist, of Prottoy Medical Clinic. Also, Mr. Safwan Sobhan, Managing Director Rangpur Riders and Vice Chairman of Basundhara Group, took part as a panelist. 

Photo Credit: WiKreate

Ms. Tanjin urged the participants to work together and face the stigma behind mental health issues and come forward for proper solutions. G. Sumdany Don asked the participants to focus on taking responsibility and unleashing individual compatibility with self-development and learning. On the other hand, Tawsif Alam pointed out that, there are many youths who are facing such issues. However, each and every one of them holds the capacity to do wonders and come out of the clutch of depression. 

Photo Credit: WiKreate

Abu Jaed, one of the participants, comments, "Thanks to the organisers and the team for such a fruitful event. What it did, more than anything else, is that, it helped us connect with people going through similar struggles and I pray that more platforms such as these get created so that the connection stays strong."


On asking Nazmul Haque why youngsters are prone towards ending their lives, he replies, "We need to teach our children how to be more tolerant towards handling frustrations. Whenever one faces uncertainty, it should be taken as a challenge and not as the reason to quit on life. Family and peers play significant roles while dealing with a person who is going through mental health issues. Also, a simple 'No' to drugs will not do, rather, drug addiction should be seen as same as cancer."

The organisers were approached to conduct similar sessions by several other institutes. G. Sumdany Don says to Star Youth, "Speak up if you are scared. We will be on our way."

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