TODAY, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD).
Organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), the day is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, and its purpose is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.
Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge and every year suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. In fact, it is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.
The IASP states that every life lost represents someone's partner, child, parent, friend or colleague, and for each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected.
This amounts to 108 million people per year who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviour. Also, for every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.
Preventing suicide is often possible and you are a key player in its prevention. Remember, you can make a difference — as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour. There are many things that you can do daily. You can raise awareness about the issue, educate yourself and others about the causes of suicide and warning signs for suicide, show compassion and care for those who are in distress in your community, question the stigma associated with suicide, suicidal behaviour and mental health problems, and share your own experiences.
This year is the first WSPD with the theme “Working Together to Prevent Suicide”. This theme will be retained for WSPD in 2019 and 2020.