Dublin Police suspects murder-suicide; Indian American community laments scarcity of mental health services
While the investigations are still on, there are early reports coming in from the city of Dublin in Ohio that has left the Indian community in the US distraught. Dublin police discovered three bodies inside a family home in the middle of the night on Wednesday.
Just after 2 am on January 18, Dublin Police officers responded to a home on Balfoure Circle for a well-being check called in by a friend of one of the residents, Police on Balfoure Circle in the city stated.
Read: Kidnapped Indian American family of four found dead (October 6, 2022)
Responding officers found three deceased adults, two males and one female, inside the residence. Based on the initial investigation, it appears that the individuals died by firearm and have been deceased for several days. Officers did not observe signs of forced entry to the home, it said.
Preliminary, Dublin Police detectives suspect the deaths are the result of a murder-suicide. Officers do not believe there is any ongoing threat to the public. Police are working to notify the next of kin before identifying the victims, the statement added.
The news sent across a wave of shock and alarm amongst the community. It may be noted that this is the third disturbing incident reported from the community in the past one month.
Just earlier this month, the police arrested an Indian man named Param Sharma in San Francisco for deliberately endangering his wife and kids as he drove his car off a cliff. In the second week of January, a Houston man named Subramaniam Ponnazhakan stabbed his 9-year-old only son.
Japneet Singh, a former candidate for New York State Senate, who has been campaigning for mental health awareness in the community and has been regularly organizing rallies in and around Queens in New York says, “Depresion is real, Addiction is real, suicidal thoughts is real. Your mental health is important.”
Ohio resident Rajni Mehra got to know the news through WhatsApp forwards from a local community group, “This happened in my city. Dublin is a small, peaceful city. This kind of shakes you to know people may be fighting personal battles,” she said.
For homemaker Rachna Bhasin from New Jersey, the news comes as an alarm. “I have always felt that the Indian community in America lacks a mental health counselling service,” She says. “We are all immigrants and truth be told we all feel lonely at a certain level.”
“Lack of any trustworthy sources to seek help in case of depression and little or no emphasis on mental well-being can have negative impacts. We all have our own struggles and we must seek collective help.”
Read: Indian Family Of 3 Found Dead In Ohio, Murder-Suicide Suspected (January 19, 2023)
Neeraj Sharma of Houston sees it as a new and disturbing development. “Why is it that we are suddenly seeing a spike in such cases,” he asks. “Last year a Sikh woman in New York committed suicide and violent photos of her husband hitting her in front of weeping kids was circulated.”
“Indians are doing so much in IT, medicine and STEM fields but what about social and emotional well-being issues? Are we too burnt out or have it kept the problems under the carpet for far too long?” Sharma wondered suggesting, “We need psychological help and I urge all Indian American mental health practitioners to volunteer and create awareness.”