Apurva has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a post-graduate certification in counseling from India. She has worked as a counselor in schools for seven years in the rural and urban sectors of India. Many students that she worked with had low IQ’s, learning difficulties, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She has counseled students with self-harm tendencies, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, domestic violence, bullying, psychosomatic symptoms, suicidal ideations, school phobia, anxiety, and have suffered sexual abuse. Moreover, she also helped students who went through short-term crisis such as bullying, disruptive classroom behavior, interpersonal issues, family problems and conflict resolution.
In the two years that I worked in rural India, I noticed that the population refused to accept mental health services. I have seen cases where – because of poor advice given to them by village heads or acquaintances – people have turned to substance abuse and even attempted suicide in extreme cases. In tackling such cases, my training at Connecting NGO on their suicide prevention helpline as a volunteer, came in handy as I frequently dealt with people with suicidal ideations and families who have been victims of suicide.
The reason for me wanting to be a part of BVCOSP is because I have seen a number of people commit suicide in India. In my research, I have found that in rural areas, poverty and substance abuse have been a major cause of people committing suicide. On the other hand, in urban areas, depression, substance abuse, loss of job and academic pressure have been the main causes. It is unfortunate that people commit suicide and I want to do anything I can to prevent it from happening and to help the families cope with the loss of their loved ones.
I am very passionate about spreading awareness about the causes of suicide. I desire to take BVCOSP into our schools and colleges in order to talk to teachers, staff, students and parents, and make them aware of the signs of suicidal ideations in students and how we can empower them with the tools they may need to prevent it from happening. I have seen in my experience that some people will directly or indirectly give out signs of suicidal ideations. For example, children and young adults tend to talk to their peers about it. So, in my opinion, targeting that age group and educating them is really important and can be huge steps in preventing the worst.