Since 2003, September 10th every year has marked World Suicide Prevention Day. This day has been set aside to raise awareness of suicide with events and organised activities. Suicide is one of the most common causes of preventable premature death around the world and the aim of this day is to spread information, so more cases can be prevented and more people know what to do if they have concerns for themselves or a loved one.
What is World Suicide Prevention Day?
On September 10th, government agencies, companies, charitable organisation, and individuals around the world will work together to promote public awareness about the mental health illnesses which can lead to suicide.
Events will be taking place in several different countries to raise funds for mental health charities such as the International Association for Suicide Prevention, as well as The World Health Organisation which plays an integral role in many of the events and campaigns which take place today. It’s worth looking at their social media pages and official website to find out more.
Connect, Communicate, Care.
This year, the theme of World Suicide Prevention Day will be ‘connect, communicate, care’. This is because these are three of the most important steps any person or organisation can take to help someone who is at risk of committing suicide.
Connection is essential to the cause of World Suicide Prevention Day, both for people who have lost loved ones to suicide and those who are most at risk themselves. People who have been suicidal themselves or have supported a suicidal loved one can provide valuable insights into how severely depressed minds work as well as what help can and should be given to vulnerable people.
Communication is key when it comes to combating suicide as one of the main issues faced by many societies and cultures is the lack of open dialogue when it comes to mental illness. One of the main pieces of information that World Suicide Prevention Day aims to get out into the public is that depressed people should be encouraged to talk about their problems and that suicide should not be treated as a taboo topic.
Finally, caring is, perhaps, the most important part of suicide prevention. The aim of this awareness day is to get as many people, organisations and policy makers as possible caring about suicide.
Activities and events
Just a few of the events taking place to raise awareness on and around World Suicide Prevention Day include; the launch of new government initiatives to help tackle suicide, conferences being held up and down the country, educational days, lectures, and seminars. There will also be a number of candlelight memorial ceremonies to honour people who have died from suicide, as well as cultural and spiritual services.
Why we need World Suicide Prevention Day
According to figures from the World Health Organisation, more than 800,000 people die by suicide every year. That works out as one person every 40 seconds, or 3000 people per day. For every person who commits suicide, more than 20 attempt it.
These statistics make suicide one of the leading causes of preventable premature death in the world. World Suicide Prevention Day is held every September 10th to raise awareness, spread information and improve education that could significantly lower the number of people who die from suicide.
Who is at risk?
Out of the 800,000 people who die from suicide each year, more than 6,000 are in the UK and Ireland. Although it is important to know that suicide can affect any one of any age, gender and social background; studies have shown that certain groups are most at risk.
In the UK, suicide is the number one cause of death for people aged between 20 and 34. The risk of suicide is significantly higher in men than it is in women, and the group most at risk are men between 45 and 59 years old.
Where to get help
If you are concerned that you or a loved one are at risk of suicide, it is important to speak to your GP and get more information on medication and counselling that could help. If the danger is imminent, then you must call 999 immediately.
There are also charitable centres in Richmond which aim to help the local community deal with depression. Richmond Borough Mind and Richmond Fellowship are two local organisations which can help those suffering from suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues.