What is World Suicide Prevention Day?
World Suicide Prevention Day is on 10th September every year. The day was established by the International Association for Suicide Prevention in conjunction with the World Health Organisation.
World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide and to promote action through proven means that will reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts globally.
- An estimated 703,000 people die by suicide worldwide each year.
- Over one in every 100 deaths in 2019 were the result of suicide.
- The global suicide rate is over twice as high among men than women.
- Over half (58%) of all deaths by suicide occur before the age of 50 years old.
Creating Hope Through Action
The theme this year is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’. The World Health Organization state that the theme serves as a powerful call to action and reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and that through our actions, we can encourage hope and strengthen prevention.
By creating hope through action, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them. It also suggests that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling.
Lastly, it serves as a reminder that suicide prevention is a public health priority and urgent action is required to make sure suicide mortality rates are reduced. WHO will continue to work with its partners to support countries to take concrete measures in this direction.
The theme also aims to reduce the stigma around suicide and create a culture where people in need can easily seek help.
The importance of World Suicide Prevention Day
Dr Kunal Choudhary, Medical Director & Consultant Psychiatrist, and Clinical Lead for Mental Health Hospitals at Active Care Group gave us his thoughts on the importance of World Suicide Prevention Day, and why meaningful and safe conversations around mental health are important.
“World Suicide Prevention Day gives us the opportunity to raise awareness in the harrowing and complex feelings suicidal tendencies can raise within a person, and the importance of breaking down stigma and discussing the benefits destigmatization can bring. It also raises awareness around the devasting impact suicide has on loved ones in the aftermath, and the negative and positive impact of social media.
“Safe conversations around mental health and suicide are vital. Communicating with someone about suicidal feelings is the most important thing anyone can do.
“Suicidal feelings can often push an individual into a lonely and isolating place and adding stigma around suicide and suicidal tendencies only perpetuates the problem.
“Being able to create a safe space free of judgement is so important and could be one of the most effective ways of getting individuals to reconsider what they are feeling, which could create the first steps to change.”
Tips for managing your mental health
Dr Kunal Choudhary has some tips for how people can manage their mental health:
- Talk to someone, you are not alone
- Reason with yourself
- Help is there, have courage to reach out